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 days does Reta drive to Toronto to see Norah?

2. How does Reta approach Norah when she visits her in early November?

3. What sport have Christine and Natalie given up playing on Saturdays to spend the day with Norah?

4. Who suddenly dies at Scribano & Lawrence?

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

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

3. Why does Danielle believe that Norah has embraced her powerlessness in society by living as a homeless person?

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

5. When Reta and Tom consult a psychiatrist about Norah, what does he tell them and how do they respond?

6. Describe life in the Winters' household.

7. At the end of the novel, what do we learn about the reason for Norah's disappearance and subsequent homelessness?

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

9. According to Reta, why is goodness not a guaranteed virtue?

10. How are Reta's feelings about sex related to her writing about Alicia and Roman?

Essay 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

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 3

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

(see the answer keys)

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