White Noise 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 is the structure Murray and Jack visit, which is claimed to be the "most photographed" such structure?

2. What is the title of the first "book" or section of this novel?

3. What Asian food does Bee offer to prepare?

4. What do the Gladneys give Murray?

5. What is the name of the "barbarian" who died young, whom Jack thinks about in terms of his own death.

Short Essay Questions

1. Babette's class at the Church is made of what kind of people learning what activities?

2. Describe the scene that opens the novel, in terms of setting, action and narration.

3. Describe what happens when Denise confronts Babette about the Dylar on the way to the mall.

4. Describe how Murray interacts with Jack and Babette at the supermarket.

5. Why does Jack think the Treadwells did not ask for help when they were lost?

6. Why does Babette ask if Bee and Steffie know each other?

7. Describe Jack's German teacher. What does he look like?

8. What is Babette's attitude toward parents watching television with their children?

9. Why is the chair of the department of American environments (the pop-culture department) opposed to Murray's establishment of Elvis studies?

10. Who makes up the group of teachers in the pop culture department?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Considering the first two Books of the novel, analyze the way DeLillo uses feelings of non-chalance and calm to characterize the Gladney family. Offer textual examples of how they behave during hectic, stressful, or chaotic situations and explain the fictional techniques (especially dialogue and setting) that help the author achieve this characterization.

Essay Topic 2

Compare and contrast the Airborne Toxic Event with a real crisis--Wilder's tricycle trip through traffic at the end of the book. How does DeLillo present each story event and characterize the family's reaction? What are the structural differences (as in, when each event happens in the chronology of the novel) and what do you think DeLillo wants the reader to think at these two times? What are the effects of these two crisis situations on the family members and what do they reveal about who these people are? What is DeLillo's larger point in contrasting such a small, personalized event with one that involved the whole town?

Essay Topic 3

Murray is a secondary character who is nonetheless crucial to Jack's characterization and to the book's humor. Write an analytical essay that 1) offers a brief character sketch of Murray and 2) an analysis of the specific fictional techniques (setting/tone/mood, plot event/action, dialogue/interaction) that DeLillo employs to characterize Murray. Why is he important to this text?

(see the answer keys)

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