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 word does Norah have written on the cardboard sign on her chest?

2. What kind of world is Reta interested in creating for her characters?

3. According to Reta, what does she find "monstrous" in the face of Norah's absence?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. Why does Reta wake up with anxiety about cleaning her house?

5. How does the American election results in Florida that Tom, Christine, and Natalie watch relate to Norah's absence?

6. Why does Reta realize that she cannot create a perfect woman as a hero in her novel?

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

8. 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.

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

10. Why does Arthur love Alicia as a character and why is it significant?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the role of setting in the novel, responding to the following questions:

1. What facts about the city of Toronto relate directly or indirectly to the lives of the characters?

2. What facts about the time in which the novel is set, 2000-2001, relate directly or indirectly to the novel's themes and overall meaning?

(see the answer keys)

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