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

2. Where is the apartment Norah shares with her boyfriend located in the building in Toronto?

3. What troubles Norah when she comes home one weekend her second year at university?

4. What is the first subject Reta and her writer friends discuss at the Orange Blossom Room?

5. According to Reta, young adults live in an age of prolonged _________and protracted__________.

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Reta's feelings about the formation of her inner dialogue, the "longest conversation" that goes on in a lifetime in a person's mind.

2. Describe Norah's thoughts about the two main characters in her novel, and why they are significant.

3. How does Reta respond to the death of Mr. Scribano and how is it significant?

4. How do Natalie and Christine attempt to give the impression that Norah's absence is part of a normal routine?

5. Why does Reta view her trip to the library as a way of reconnecting with Norah?

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

7. Why does Reta initially think Norah's problems may have stemmed from her relationship with Ben Abbot?

8. What are some concerns Reta has in creating her fictional character Alicia, and how are they significant?

9. What are Reta's feelings about Tom and their sexual relationship?

10. When does Reta's mind begin to wander and what does she think of during dinner with Tom's physicist friend, Colin Glass?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the plot and subplot of the novel, including the rising action, climax, and resolution for both.

Essay Topic 3

Shields uses the first-person point of view to show Reta's thoughts and actions, though the focus of the novel is the mystery of Norah's disappearance and subsequent homelessness. Respond to the following questions:

1. Why do you think Shields chose the first-person instead of third-person ("she")?

2. How would the novel be different if the story was told from Norah's point of view?

3. Since the first-person is a limited perspective, how would using an omniscient point of view change the tone or meaning of the novel?

(see the answer keys)

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