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. What does Steinbeck buy at roadside markets?

2. What does Steinbeck learn about all the writing materials he packs?

3. What is the traveler's second prerequisite for traveling?

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

5. Where does Steinbeck park his camper on his first night?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are Steinbeck's musings on junk?

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

3. Describe some of the things that Steinbeck packs.

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

5. What does Steinbeck encounter that particularly unnerves him?

6. What is Steinbeck's explanation for the junk yards and garbage dumps surrounding the small towns and villages through which he passes?

7. Describe Deer Isle.

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

9. Why are Steinbeck's friends concerned for his safety on the road?

10. What urge has Steinbeck felt all his life?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explain the Cold War in America. Why are Steinbeck and the people he meets so obsessed with it? How does Steinbeck come to terms with the Cold War in order to live his life with some sort of calm?

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

What is Charley's role on the trip? Why does Steinbeck take a dog instead of a human on such an extended journey? What is the relationship between Steinbeck and Charley? Cite some examples that indicate the nature of their friendship.

(see the answer keys)

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