|Name: _________________________||Period: ___________________|
This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. What does Tracy Halliday want a huge jar of marbles to represent for Norah?
2. Who does Arthur frighten when he accidentally knocks over the object at Reta's house?
3. The nature of _______dominates the conversation between Reta and Danielle at lunch.
4. According to Reta, what can "help us turn down the volume of our own interior discourse"?
5. What anomaly does Lois tell Arthur she sees on the oak tree outside her window?
Short Essay Questions
1. Why does Reta feel that Arthur's suggestion to focus on Roman instead of Alicia is an egregious one?
2. What rationale does Reta offer about the importance of novels despite moral injustice in the world?
3. According to Reta, why is goodness not a guaranteed virtue?
4. When Reta and Tom consult a psychiatrist about Norah, what does he tell them and how do they respond?
5. When Tom calls to inform Reta that Norah is in the hospital, how does the point of view change in the novel?
6. Why does Reta call Dennis Ford-Halpern's omission of women in his book "The Goodness Gap" a "moral dilemma in itself"?
7. In her letter about the death of Peter Harding, how does Reta compare herself to Norah?
8. How does Arthur feel about Roman, the other main character in Reta's novel?
9. Why does Arthur Springer call one day after Christmas and what is Reta's response?
10. 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?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
Discuss grief as a major theme of the novel, especially the expression of suffering, responding to the following questions:
1. How does Reta cope with her grief?
2. How are Norah's actions a manifestation of grief?
3. What is the relationship between memory and grief?
Essay Topic 2
Discuss the role of writing in the novel, responding to the following questions:
1. What is the function of Reta's writing in portraying her ideas about the world?
2. Do Reta's novels and letters serve the same purpose? Why or why not?
3. How does Danielle's writing compare with Reta's in terms of its significance?
Essay Topic 3
Another major theme in the novel is the issue of homelessness and its consequences for the people affected by it.
1. Identify some preconceptions about homelessness that are disproved by the characters' actions.
2. What is Shields' overall message about people who are homeless?
This section contains 793 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)