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

2. What does Francis Quinn tell Reta and Tom about the gloves Norah has been wearing?

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

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

5. According to Reta, what is the most egregious change Arthur suggests she make in her novel?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. According to Reta, what is the "worry word" of life and why is it significant?

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

6. Why is Lois's conversation with Arthur when she comes over to investigate about dinner significant?

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

8. Describe Reta and Lois's relationship.

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

10. How does Arthur feel about Roman, the other main character in Reta's 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 role of conflict in "Unless." Discuss Reta's conflict with society. Discuss Norah's conflict with society.

Essay Topic 3

How does Shields portray heroines in the novel? Respond to the following:

1. What characters can be regarded as tragic heroines?

2. Discuss Reta's ideas about heroines and heroism.

3. How are the heroines in the novel in opposition to society?

(see the answer keys)

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