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. Who does Arthur frighten when he accidentally knocks over the object at Reta's house?

2. In the letter to the short story writer, why does Reta mention that her friend Emma lost the integrity of her body?

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

4. According to Lois, who makes fun of the list in her recipe box?

5. What great themes of literature does Reta tell Helt she learned while in high school?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. How does the staff's response at the hostel regarding Norah's gloves indicate her invisibility as a street person?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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

Essay Topic 3

In the novel, Reta has several flashbacks about Norah in the weeks before her disappearance. Choose three memories and discuss what they reveal about Reta, Norah, and the nature of their relationship.

(see the answer keys)

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