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 month does Reta finally meet Arthur Springer for the first time at her home?

2. According to the Chair in Theology, what faith is balanced on words "already" and "not yet?"

3. Who is Dennis Ford-Halpern?

4. What does Reta find "ugly, vast, and arresting" as she and Tom walk in the cemetery?

5. Why does Arthur state that he thinks of the final chapter as the "kiln?"

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why does Reta make an exception in sending her letter to Russell Sandor, a short story writer?

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

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

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

6. What issue does Reta take with Emily Helt's book review in the Chicago Tribune?

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

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?

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

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?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the role that faith plays in the novel. What are the differences between personal and religious faith? Discuss Reta's views on faith.

(see the answer keys)

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