To Build a Fire Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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. What does the protagonist chew as he travels in the narrative?

2. The narrator states that the only caresses the dog has known were the caresses of what, in Part III?

3. According to the narrator in Part I, “It was a clear day, and yet there seemed an intangible” what “over the face of things”?

4. What location is 1,000 miles north along the “dark hair-line” of the main trail visible in Part I?

5. What does the protagonist use to ignite his fire in Part III?

Short Essay Questions

1. How is the dog described in To Build a Fire?What is his relationship to the protagonist?

2. What is the point of view of the narrative in To Build a Fire?

3. How does the author use symbolism to illustrate “instinct” versus “reason” in the narrative?

4. What advice did the old-timer give to the protagonist?

5. How does the narrator describe the protagonist’s experience of the cold in Part III?

6. What role does the old-timer play in the narrative?

7. What is the setting of To Build a Fire?What clues indicate this setting?

8. Where is the protagonist traveling in the story? What supplies does he carry?

9. What are the most significant elements of the setting of To Build a Fire?

10. How does the narrator describe the setting at noon in To Build a Fire? What is the protagonist’s state of mind at this time?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe and discuss the character of “the man” in To Build A Fire. What characteristics does the man embody? What are his physical characteristics? How old is he? What is his objective in the beginning of the story?

Essay Topic 2

Define character action, objective, and obstacle in literature, and analyze the actions and obstacles of the protagonist in Parts I and II. How does the protagonist act in the face of the obstacle of the springs? What is the protagonist’s objective at the beginning of the story? What obstacles stand in his way? How does he overcome each of these obstacles?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the element of fear in the narrative. What causes the protagonist to first feel fearful of his situation? How does he cope with this fear? What effect does the protagonist’s fear have on the reader?

(see the answer keys)

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