Topics of Conversation Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Popkey, Miranda
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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 many women were left at the party when the unnamed narrator describes the scene in Ann Arbor, 2002?

2. On the wall of the unnamed narrator's childhood home, there is a tabloid clipping picturing which of her family members "on the arm of Rudolph Valentino" (55)?

3. How does the narrator say it makes her feel when someone tells her "a story, a secret, a sharing of confidence" (27)?

4. What kind of school was the unnamed narrator attending when she met her now-ex-husband John?

5. The unnamed narrator reflects in Los Angeles, 2011 that "every confidence is a kind of" (65) what?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the type of humor Popkey often uses within Topics of Conversation and provide an example.

2. How does the unnamed narrator feel about society's understanding of "the woman as object" versus "the woman as subject" (45)?

3. Discuss an instance when Popkey uses the second person point of view to connect with the reader.

4. What emotion does the unnamed narrator name as one that is difficult for women to express?

5. How did the unnamed narrator view Artemisia during the trip to Italy in 2000 and why?

6. In what way does Popkey send a message about the dangers of complying with patriarchy-fueled gender norms in the section entitled Ann Arbor, 2002?

7. How does the unnamed narrator explain her impulse to kiss Artemisia near the end of the section called Italy, 2000?

8. How did the unnamed narrator feel about the dissolution of Laura's marriage?

9. What does the telephone symbolize within the section of the novel entitled Italy, 2000?

10. Describe the interactive element of the Swedish artist's exhibition.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write a critical essay about Topics of Conversation while using the critical power theory lens of feminist theory. Use textual evidence to back up your strong, specific claim regarding the novel's treatment of gender roles, the objectification of women, female empowerment, misogyny's role within society, or any other issues related to feminist theory that can be found in the novel.

Essay Topic 2

What message does Popkey send within the pages of Topics of Conversation concerning the link between secrecy and control?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss Popkey's choice to use a first-person narrator to tell the story of the novel Topics of Conversation. What elements of the novel's themes lend themselves to this choice and what are Popkey’s intended effects on the reader?

(see the answer keys)

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