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. According to Reta, what is "full of isolated events"?

2. Why does Reta think that novel writing is perhaps a pointless exercise?

3. What is Helt's central thesis in her review of a female author?

4. What is the woman who sets herself on fire outside of Honest Ed's wearing?

5. In the cemetery, what is the inscription beneath Mary Leland's name on her headstone?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why does Arthur Springer call one day after Christmas and what is Reta's response?

3. How do the meetings with her friends at the Orange Blossom Room ground Reta in reality?

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

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

6. Why does an older friend of Reta's advise her to read obituaries as a young writer?

7. 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?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What is the role of language in "Unless"? Identify and discuss the following relationships and its significance for the characters:

1. Language and identity.

2. Language and truth.

3. Language and power.

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Compare and contrast Reta and Danielle's views on women, responding to the following questions:

1. What observations do Reta and Danielle make about society's perception of women?

2. How do Reta and Danielle feel about the roles women have in society?

(see the answer keys)

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