Tinkers Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Paul Harding
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How is Marjorie related to George?

2. How many days before he dies does George begin hallucinating?

3. Who built George's house?

4. Of Howard, the narrator says in Chapter 2, "His despair had not come from the fact that he was a fool; he knew he was a fool. His despair came from" what?

5. Why is Howard paid to shoot a dog, according to the narrator in Chapter 1?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is ironic about George's role within his family, as illustrated in Chapter 2, Part 2?

2. How does the author go about illustrating the opposite natures of George and Howard in Chapter 2?

3. How does George become injured when he witnesses his father's seizure in Chapter 2, Part 1?

4. How would you compare the imagery of Howard's home and George's home in the novel?

5. What does George think about as he begins his chores on Monday in Chapter 2, Part 1? What does Howard think about?

6. What memories of George's are described "one hundred and sixty-eight hours" before George's death in Chapter 1?

7. What thoughts does Howard have regarding human perception of one's condition in the end of Chapter 2?

8. How does Howard find George after he's run away from home in Chapter 2, Part 2? What are his thoughts upon finding his son?

9. How does the setting change in Chapter 1 when George's family leaves him to prepare lunch?

10. How is George's condition described in the beginning of Chapter 1? Where is George located, and what does he ask for when he first awakens?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe and discuss the nonlinear aspects of Tinkers. When and where in the story does the narrative go back and forward through time? Why does the author make these abrupt shifts? Why do you think the author chooses not to delineate the transitions in the narrative and time period?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the author’s literary allusions in Tinkers to The Scarlet Letter. When was The Scarlet Letter written? What subject matter is the story focused on? Where did Nathaniel Hawthorne supposedly attend college with the hermit Gilbert in Tinkers? What similarities do you see between the subjects and themes of The Scarlet Letter and Tinkers? Why do you think the author chooses to allude to this novel in Tinkers?

Essay Topic 3

Examine the theme of family in Tinkers. What do you think the term “family” means to each of the following characters: Howard, George, and Reverend Crosby? What does “family” mean to the female characters in the novel? How would you describe George’s relationship with his family as he lays dying in the contemporary storyline?

(see the answer keys)

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