Unless Test | Final 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. In her letter to the short story writer, Reta hints that a single _________ moment was caught on videotape.

2. In what month does Reta write her letter to Ford-Halpern?

3. Who lost her own son to a heroin overdose?

4. What does Tom think Norah might be suffering from?

5. What is the name of the third novel in Reta's trilogy?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Reta's central point in her letter to Helt?

2. In her letter about the death of Peter Harding, how does Reta compare herself to Norah?

3. Why don't the Winters' want to discuss the fact that Norah probably gave her Christmas package away?

4. Why does Reta sign her letter to Dennis Ford-Halpern, "Yours, Rita Orange d'Ville"?

5. In her letter to Russell Sandor, Reta states that she fears nothing. Why does she feel this way and how does she prove it in her letter?

6. As Reta and Arthur have their heated discussion, what three things happen that interrupt them that provide comic relief to the serious conversation?

7. How does Arthur feel about Roman, the other main character in Reta's novel?

8. What rationale does Reta offer about the importance of novels despite moral injustice in the world?

9. How does the staff's response at the hostel regarding Norah's gloves indicate her invisibility as a street person?

10. When Tom calls to inform Reta that Norah is in the hospital, how does the point of view change in the novel?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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

Essay Topic 3

Discuss Shields' portrayal of the media in the novel, responding to the following questions:

1. What role does the media have in advancing the plot?

2. What is Reta's relationship to the media?

3. Is it an amicable or hostile relationship and why?

(see the answer keys)

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