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

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

3. Why does Reta become angry at the male author being interviewed on the literary television show?

4. Who suddenly dies at Scribano & Lawrence?

5. In the few weeks prior to her disappearance, who does Ben think Norah might have a problem with that would account for her uncharacteristic behavior?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe life in the Winters' household.

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

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

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

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

7. 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?

8. Describe Reta's peculiar behavior when she visits Norah in early November.

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

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

Healing, both physical and psychological, is significant to the characters' recovery in the novel. Identify the ways in which the Winters family heals from the stress and trauma over the past year.

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the significance of goodness in the novel as an idea and a catalyst for change, responding to the following questions:

1. What does the concept of goodness mean to Reta?

2. What does the concept of goodness mean to Norah?

3. What is the overall message of goodness as an idea in the novel?

(see the answer keys)

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