Z for Zachariah 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 was supposed to stay with Ann when her parents went exploring?

2. About how far is Claypole Ridge?

3. What does the man do after using the Geiger counter?

4. What does Ann see when she goes and looks out of the boundaries of her valley?

5. With what information does the book open in the first sentence?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Ann get the tractor running and what planting decision does she make?

2. Why does Ann think someone is coming to her valley?

3. Why does Ann decide to ask Mr. Loomis questions and what happens as a result?

4. How does Mr. Loomis seem later that evening, and what does Ann give him?

5. What does Mr. Loomis say he remembers while delirious?

6. What happens to Mr. Loomis at the opening to Chapter 10?

7. Explain why Ann is alone in the valley.

8. Why is the valley special?

9. What happens in the middle of the night that convinces Ann to move out of the house?

10. Why does Mr. Loomis frighten Ann as she is playing the piano?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Many novels, and perhaps a majority, of novels end on a happy note. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think many (most?) people want what they perceive as a happy or good ending to a novel? Explain your opinion. Do you? Why or why not? Do you think Z for Zachariah ends on a happy note? Why or why not?

2. What are three reasons to read fiction? Discuss each one in light of Z for Zachariah and whether or not it fulfills all three, two or one of the reasons you mention. Give examples as to why Z for Zachariah is or is not successful in fulfilling the reasons you discuss.

3. Do you think reading solely for entertainment is as good a reason to read as any other? Why or why not? Can any work of fiction or non-fiction, no matter how poorly written, enlighten, teach, stimulate thought? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Ann makes the decision to observe the man who has decided to bathe in Burden Creek, which Ann knows is dead and probably poisoned either with radioactivity or some other by-product of the war. Discuss the following:

1. Does Ann make a wise decision to still not show herself when the man is entering the water?

2. Is Ann's decision not to run down and stop the man a lack of compassion? Kindness?

3. Would you have made the same decision that Ann makes? Why or why not?

4. Do you think Loomis is justified in being angry with Ann when he learns that she watched him enter the dangerous water and did nothing? Is he angry? Discuss the psychological/emotional dynamics of the situation.

5. Was Ann responsible for warning Loomis even if it reveals her presence? Do you have a responsibility to warn someone if you observe them doing something that could injure or kill them? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss one of the following:

1. Define irony in literary terms. What do you think is the purpose of irony? Discuss the irony of the situation that it appears the man could die from his radiation poisoning in a "safe" valley when he has avoided the same thing while walking through hundreds of miles of dangerous country. What other irony occurs in Z for Zachariah? Discuss two or three incidences of irony and whether they enhance your reading experience.

2. Define symbolism in literary terms. Discuss the use and meaning of five symbols you choose to analyze from Z for Zachariah. What do they symbolize? Is the symbolism obvious? Effective? Does the symbolism contribute to the enjoyment of reading?

3. Trace and analyze the use of foreshadowing throughout Z for Zachariah. List at least five things that occur later in the novel that are foreshadowed earlier in the novel. Does foreshadowing increase your motivation to complete a book? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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