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. Who does Reta meet for lunch after a radio interview in Baltimore?

2. What do the Winters do when they discover where Norah sleeps at night?

3. What is the signal Reta gives to Lois for her to come over for her nightly meal with the family?

4. What kind of woman does Reta realize she cannot create for a heroine in her novel?

5. Why does Arthur ask Reta to send him a draft?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Norah make the sarcastic observation in her letter to Alexander Valkner that he must have suffered from extreme fatigue when he thought of his list of "literary big cats"?

2. Why does the memory of shopping for the perfect scarf for Norah haunt Reta as a "big female secret" and what does the scarf represent?

3. Describe Reta Winter's thoughts and feelings as the novel opens.

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

5. Why do Reta and her writer friends at the Orange Blossom Room conclude that the concepts of goodness and greatness are incompatible for women?

6. 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?

7. What is Reta's complaint in her letter to the editor of a literary magazine regarding one of its advertising pages?

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

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

10. Why is Reta reluctant to give Arthur Springer a first draft of her novel, and what does it reveal about her writing?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the novel, Reta has several flashbacks about Norah in the weeks before her disappearance. Choose three memories and discuss what they reveal about Reta, Norah, and the nature of their relationship.

Essay Topic 2

Compare and contrast Reta and Danielle's views on women, responding to the following questions:

1. What observations do Reta and Danielle make about society's perception of women?

2. How do Reta and Danielle feel about the roles women have in society?

Essay Topic 3

What is the role of language in "Unless"? Identify and discuss the following relationships and its significance for the characters:

1. Language and identity.

2. Language and truth.

3. Language and power.

(see the answer keys)

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