To Build a Fire Test | Final 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. The protagonist begins by feeding the fire with twigs the size of what in Part IV?

2. Mercury was the son of what god in Roman mythology?

3. What kind of socks does the protagonist wear in Part IV?

4. Which word from Part V means skillful or artful management?

5. What does the fire symbolize to the protagonist in Part V?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the protagonist eventually re-gather the matches in Part V?

2. What does the protagonist do after his fire is extinguished in Part V? What danger does he face?

3. What does the dog do as the protagonist attempts to build his second fire in Part V? What obstacle does the protagonist face in getting the tinder going?

4. What conclusion does the protagonist come to when his fate appears sealed in Part VI?

5. What causes the fire to be extinguished in Part V of the story?

6. How does the theme of “survival” apply to Part IV of To Build a Fire?

7. How does the protagonist go about starting his second fire in Part V? What obstacles does he face in the process?

8. How does the protagonist go about building a fire after his fall in Part IV?

9. How is the protagonist able to separate the matches in Part V? How does he attempt to light a match once he does?

10. What is the first mental image that overtakes the protagonist as he dies in Part VI?

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

Describe and discuss the effects of hypothermia. What causes hypothermia? How is it treated? Where are the effects most often felt first? How do they progress? How are these effects illustrated in To Build A Fire?

(see the answer keys)

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