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 says they are "just now waking up"?

2. What does Lucette wear?

3. What does Tarwater do to the shack the night Mason dies?

4. Why did Lucette's mother travel to China and Africa?

5. What reason does Mason give for his finding a lover for Tarwater's mother?

Short Essay Questions

1. How is it obvious that Tarwater is unfamiliar with telephones?

2. What does Meeks say about the law of work and the law of love?

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

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

5. Why does the schoolteacher leave his hearing aid on at night?

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

7. What does Rayber say Mason did to Tarwater?

8. How does Mason feel Rayber insulted him?

9. Why does Tarwater keep taking out a scrap piece of paper and pencil at the Italian restaurant?

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Both fire and water purify in "The Violent Bear It Away". Explain how each element represents purity in the novel and which characters seek purity or have it thrust on them.

Essay Topic 2

The adults in this book, Mason and Rayber, try to save the children, Tarwater and Bishop. Compare what saving means to the adults, how they try to save and what ultimately happens. What does all of this reveal about Rayber and Mason?

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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