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. What does Meeks do for a living?

2. Who does the schoolteacher marry?

3. Who does Tarwater smile like?

4. Who buries Mason Tarwater?

5. What does Rayber call the aptitude test?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Mason feel Rayber insulted him?

2. What becomes apparent to Tarwater after the death of Mason?

3. Why does Buford come to Mason's shack in the beginning of chapter 1?

4. Why does Tarwater drink the moonshine he was getting for Buford?

5. Why does Tarwater eat so much at lunch before fishing?

6. What is Rayber's plan for Tarwater on the fishing trip?

7. When Meeks asks what line of work Tarwater will get into, what does he say?

8. When Tarwater is digging the grave for Mason, what does he think of Rayber?

9. How does Meeks say man can get ahead?

10. Why does Rayber follow Tarwater quietly when he leaves the house?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Throughout this novel the devil often speaks to Tarwater. Describe these encounters and the effect they have on Tarwater. How does evil battle with good and in this novel which side do you feel "won" and why?

Essay Topic 2

The characters in "The Violent Bear It Away" were often called different names. Rayber was also "the schoolteacher", and Mason was often called "the old man", for examples. Analyze what the different names imply and which characters used varying names to refer to other characters. Were there power struggles evident, or judgments passed? What is the importance of a name?

Essay Topic 3

"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.

(see the answer keys)

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