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. What is the short story writer's name who Reta writes a letter to?

2. In the story, who does Reta think the Czech professor must hate?

3. What does Reta think most people would assume about the inscription on Mary Leland's headstone?

4. Why do Christine and Natalie think something terrible must have happened to Norah?

5. Why is Reta alarmed by the sight of Norah's hands?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Emma, Reta's journalist friend, try to comfort her and how is it significant?

2. What does Reta and Tom's walk in Orangetown cemetery represent?

3. According to Gemma Walsh, Reta's friend who has been appointed Chair of Theology, the Christian faith is balance on the words "already" and "not yet." Why does Reta find this significant?

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

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

6. What is Reta's impression of Arthur Springer when she finally meets him at her home in January and how do they get into a heated discussion?

7. What is Lois's true opinion of what happened to Norah that she is afraid to express?

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

9. Why does Reta feel that Arthur's suggestion to focus on Roman instead of Alicia is an egregious one?

10. What does Reta notice on Norah's wrists that cause Tom to forget his trilobites and research stress and trauma?

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 conflict in "Unless." Discuss Reta's conflict with society. Discuss Norah's conflict with society.

Essay Topic 3

As a novel, "Unless" functions as a mystery. As such, there are clues provided to lead the reader in many directions. What are some true and false leads surrounding Norah's disappearance? How does Shields utilize flashbacks and dialogue to create suspension in the novel?

(see the answer keys)

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