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 woman who sets herself on fire outside of Honest Ed's wearing?

2. Arthur tells Reta the day after Christmas that he is filled with admiration for what?

3. Arthur tells Reta the day after Christmas that he has read all the reviews for what book?

4. Who insists that Norah is reacting to her state of powerlessness in society during Norah's visit with her?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Why does Reta call Dennis Ford-Halpern's omission of women in his book "The Goodness Gap" a "moral dilemma in itself"?

4. At the hospital, what does Natalie reveal about the injuries to Norah's hands?

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

6. At the end of the novel, what do we learn about the reason for Norah's disappearance and subsequent homelessness?

7. Describe Reta and Lois's relationship.

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

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

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

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 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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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