Travels with Charley: In Search of America 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. How is Steinbeck able to travel unnoticed?

2. What is the subject about which Steinbeck is noted for writing?

3. Where does Steinbeck stay in a motel on his second night?

4. What does Steinbeck invite the Canadian family to do?

5. Why does Steinbeck not take another person on the trip?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Charley.

2. What does Steinbeck share with the adults in the Canadian family as a gesture of good will?

3. Describe Steinbeck's encounter with the young sailor.

4. What are Steinbeck's requirements for this state of journeying--or bumdom as he calls it?

5. What happens to disrupt the launch of Steinbeck's trip?

6. What is ironic about Steinbeck being an American writer?

7. What does Steinbeck think about the personality of each journey?

8. What is Steinbeck's start date for his trip?

9. What have older people always told Steinbeck?

10. How does Steinbeck respond to his friends' concerns about the dangers of road travel?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Give some examples of humor in the book. Do you think Steinbeck appreciates slapstick humor or wit of a more sophisticated nature? Or both? Explain.

Essay Topic 2

Explain why Steinbeck looks forward to a visit to his hometown. What happens during the visit with his family? With an old friend? Why does Steinbeck think he disappointed them? How did they disappoint him? Explain.

Essay Topic 3

Explain how Steinbeck was able to diffuse a family fight between a gruff man in Idaho and the man's 20-year-old son who wanted to be a hairdresser in a big city. It is not stated, but there is the possibility that the young man was gay and the father could not accept this part of his son. Do you think this is the position Steinbeck was able to ascertain quickly? Explain why the topic of homosexuality was even more taboo in 1960 than it is today.

(see the answer keys)

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