Unless 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 task do Reta and Tom engage in after the package is delivered to the Winters' home?

2. What is the name of the previous owners of Reta and Tom's Ontario farmhouse?

3. What is the subject of the new book Tom is reading?

4. What is the name of Reta's friend, a medical journalist who lives in Newfoundland?

5. According to Reta's writer friends at the Orange Blossom Room, why are women excluded from real life?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Arthur Springer call one day after Christmas and what is Reta's response?

2. What does Reta do each month that indicates her attempt to live up to an idea of "goodness?"

3. What attempt does Reta make to bribe her daughter Norah to come home when she visits her on her street corner and how successful is she?

4. What does Reta notice on Norah's wrists that cause Tom to forget his trilobites and research stress and trauma?

5. Describe the response of the Winters' family to seeing the hostel where Norah stays and its significance.

6. What is Reta's central point in her letter to Helt?

7. According to Ben, how has Norah changed in the few weeks prior to her disappearance?

8. How do the meetings with her friends at the Orange Blossom Room ground Reta in reality?

9. What is Reta's impression of Arthur Springer when she finally meets him at her home in January and how do they get into a heated discussion?

10. At the hospital, what does Natalie reveal about the injuries to Norah's hands?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the role of minor characters in the novel.

1. Identify three minor characters and their relationship to the major characters.

2. Describe these three minor characters' physical and psychological attributes. Are they flat or round?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the role that faith plays in the novel. What are the differences between personal and religious faith? Discuss Reta's views on faith.

Essay Topic 3

How does Shields portray heroines in the novel? Respond to the following:

1. What characters can be regarded as tragic heroines?

2. Discuss Reta's ideas about heroines and heroism.

3. How are the heroines in the novel in opposition to society?

(see the answer keys)

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