True Grit Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Charles Portis
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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. Why did Papa take “it in his head to go to Fort Smith” after the last of the cotton was sold, according to Mattie in Chapter 1?

2. Rooster Cogburn lives in a small room in back of what in Chapter 3?

3. Who does Mattie share a room with at the Monarch boarding house in Chapter 2?

4. Mattie claims in Chapter 3, “Papa used to say that the only friends we had down here right after the war were” whom?

5. In what county is Dardanelle located?

Short Essay Questions

1. How is Yarnell Poindexter described in the novel? Why does he accompany Mattie in Chapter 1?

2. What agreement do Mattie Ross and Colonel Stonehill reach regarding their settlement in Chapter 3?

3. How does Colonel Stonehill describe the plight of the U.S. marshal when he hears of Mattie’s story in Chapter 3?

4. What is the principle setting of the story? Where does Mattie’s family live?

5. How does Mattie describe Stonehill’s stock barn in Chapter 3?

6. What was stolen from Mattie Ross’s father when he was killed?

7. How does Mattie describe the scene when she arrives at the Federal Courthouse to seek out Rooster Cogburn in Chapter 3? Who is being brought in?

8. What are the last words of the first man executed in Chapter 2?

9. How does Mattie describe the setting of the hanging in Chapter 2?

10. How does Mattie describe the career of Judge Isaac Parker in Chapter 3?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the history of hanging and capital punishment in the United States, particularly in the South, during the late 1800s. What was the largest mass hanging in the U.S.? When did the last execution by public hanging take place? How common were occurrences such as the public hanging in Chapter 2?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the language style and dialect in True Grit. How do you relate to the style of speech of the characters? Do you feel this style of dialect realistically reflects the time and place of the story? How?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss Rooster’s failed marriage and his relationship with his son as detailed in the narrative. How did Rooster feel about his son? What does he admit regarding their relationship? Do you think that Rooster’s relationship with Mattie in the story is an attempt to make up for Rooster’s failings with his son?

(see the answer keys)

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