The Violent Bear It Away Test | Mid-Book 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 buries Mason Tarwater?

2. What does Tarwater do with Mason's coffin?

3. Who has a gash in their ear?

4. What does Tarwater want to make clear to Rayber, the "schoolteacher", the morning he goes to his house?

5. Who does the schoolteacher marry?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does the schoolteacher do when he first hears that Mason is dead?

2. Why does Rayber suddenly duck his head and hide when he is watching Lucette?

3. Why does Tarwater start walking toward Powderhead?

4. When Tarwater looks at the burned remains of the cabin, what does he think?

5. How does Tarwater respond when he runs into Rayber after leaving the church?

6. At the end of chapter 6, how does Rayber feel about Tarwater?

7. What is the sign of returning health that Rayber wants to see in Tarwater?

8. Why does Rayber say that Tarwater is his son also when they check in to the hotel?

9. What two histories does Tarwater say he knows "completely"?

10. What does the stranger's voice tell Tarwater about burying Mason?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

"The Violent Bear It Away" is considered to be written in the Southern Gothic tradition which includes a setting in the south and the supernatural, among other elements. Find a definition of Southern Gothic tradition and reflect on how this novel fits or does not fit the definition.

Essay Topic 2

Tarwater receives rides from three strangers in this novel: Meeks, the truck driver, and the man in the lavender car. Describe each trip in terms of influence on Tarwater, symbolism, reflection of religion, and impact on the rest of the novel.

Essay Topic 3

Violence and religion converge at many points during this novel. Describe three such times and what is symbolic about the event, how it impacts the characters involved and shapes the rest of the novel. Take time to consider why violence and religion often meet.

(see the answer keys)

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