Trainspotting 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 Renton have to convince a pub owner of to use a toilet in The First Day of the Edinburgh Festival?

2. Why does Renton not answer the door in Junk Dilemmas No. 64?

3. Why does Na Na get into trouble at her flat?

4. In It Goes Without Saying, who does Renton figure out is Dawn's father?

5. What performer's concert has Tommy bought tickets to in Scotland Takes Drugs in Psychic Defense?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Renton play his interviewer in Speedy Recruitment?

2. What is the cause of the brawl in Her Man?

3. How does Spud get in a brawl in Na Na and Other Nazis?

4. How is Begbie's home-life portrayed at the beginning of Inner Shitty?

5. Why is Stevie sad on New Years?

6. How does Renton prepare to come off of junk in The First Day of the Edinburgh Festival?

7. In what state is Renton at the beginning of the chapter?

8. Why are the mates made anxious by Begbie's plans for this chapter?

9. How is Spud's life since coming off heroin?

10. How do the junkies react to the tragedy that occurs in It Goes Without Saying?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The characters of Trainspotting are deeply complex. They are capable of horrid actions and desirous of profound love and happiness. Write a three-part essay about three such characters. What hurtful or careless actions does each perpetrate? How does he or she show empathy or love through the novel? Does this person find happiness in the end?

Part 1) Kelly

Part 2) Davie

Part 3) Spud

Essay Topic 2

Trainspotting's prose often resembles a series of amusing or pathetic anecdotes related over a pint at a pub. Write an essay discussing how Welsh subverts the frame of the pub story. How does he intermingle the prurient with the profound? In the structure of the novel, how do individual anecdotes add up to something more in concert together? What is the end result of these tales?

Essay Topic 3

Trainspotting takes place in a specific time and place: Edinburgh in the mid- to late-eighties. This is a period marked by civil strife between right and left in the era of IRA and Thatcher. Write an essay about three ways in which the political pervades the narrative:

Part 1) Discuss the rivalry between the Hibs and the Hearts. How do these two football clubs represent two ideologies in this era? Which club do the mates of Trainspotting support, and what does this say about their understanding of the United Kingdom?

Part 2) What happens to Spud and his Uncle Dode when they cross paths with skinheads in the novel? Discuss what challenges Dode has faced in Leith and why. How are these challenges typified in this interaction with the skinheads?

Part 3) Discuss Renton's reaction to his brother Billy's death. How does he connect the death to racism and privilege in a stratified United Kingdom? What does Renton feel about Thatcher, Union, and his Glasgow relatives?

(see the answer keys)

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