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. Where does Steinbeck go to church on his last morning in New England?

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

3. What is the genre of this book?

4. What has come over the country since Steinbeck's last trip?

5. How do New Englanders talk?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Steinbeck encounter that particularly unnerves him?

3. How does Steinbeck communicate in the book?

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

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

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

7. Why does Steinbeck decide not to take a human traveling companion?

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

9. Describe Deer Isle.

10. What does Steinbeck's 13-year-old neighbor boy symbolize?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What lessons about bureaucracy does Steinbeck learn at the U.S.-Canadian border? What are Steinbeck's opinions about governments, their laws and the people they put in place to enforce them? How does Steinbeck separate his hate for governments from his love for countries?

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

Discuss Steinbeck's writing style. How is he different from other writers of his time? What are some of his characteristic writing techniques? Identify some examples of his classic style in this book.

(see the answer keys)

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