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. Jack finds Wilder watching Heinrich do a science experiment with what objects?

2. What color is Babette's hair?

3. How old is Heinrich?

4. Where did the psychic live?

5. What color were all the packages in Murray's shopping cart?

Short Essay Questions

1. According to Jack, why does Bee make the family feel self-conscious?

2. What does Bee claim about the conflict between her mother and stepfather?

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

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

5. Why did Babette want to see "station-wagon" day?

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

7. What kind of exercise does Babette do? Does Jack join in?

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

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

10. What is the conflict between Babette and Denise, vis-a-vis sugarless gum?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

While Jack is obsessed with a mass-murderer, he is afraid of his own death. Babette seems to think that Jack's biology and jealousy make him predestined to be homicidal. Interrogate her claims, based on evidence from the text. Why does Jack resort to violence? What does it have to do with his academic obsession with Hitler and maybe even his J.A.K. persona? How does DeLillo use German and associations with Germany to explore Jack's fear?

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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