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. Where does her parents say they are going first in their explorations?

2. What intrigues the man as he is making breakfast?

3. What does Ann smell as she is gathering greens?

4. What is Loomis doing when Ann returns home?

5. What does Ann think the visitor is bringing?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does the man say possibly happened to Ann's family?

2. How does Ann describe the newly-arrived stranger?

3. How does Ann become inspired to make a salad?

4. What is the situation in the valley about the water supply?

5. What does the man in the suit do when he finally arrives at Ann's house?

6. What does Ann worry about when she discovers that Faro has returned?

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

8. What happens that convinces Ann that the man knows nothing about farm life and what is her response?

9. Why concerns Ann about the approaching stranger?

10. Why is the valley special?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Ann watches the progress of the stranger and begins to worry that it might be someone who means her harm. Ann decides to hide all evidence of her existence by burying her garden and releasing her animals, then climbing up to a cave in the hills over her valley. Discuss the following:

1. Does it seem likely a fifteen-year-old girl would retreat from what is likely the only other human being in her surroundings for miles?

2. If you were Ann, would you adopt the same procedure to observe the person from afar for awhile? Do you think it would occur to you to do this?

3. How likely is it that the approaching human would harm another human who may be his/her only way to interact with someone else?

Essay Topic 3

Samuel Taylor Coleridge once said that in reading fantastical or non-realistic literature, the reader must be willing to suspend his/her disbelief. Discuss the following:

1. In Chapter 6, Ann along with the reader learns that John Loomis walks from New York to somewhere in Pennsylvania through hundreds of miles of radiation-laden country, along with other poisons such as nerve gas. Is it possible to suspend one's disbelief in order to "play along" with the scenario the author sets up? Is it likely that in the 1960s, a plastic would have been invented that protected one from the effects of radiation exposure? Does this unlikely scenario make you more or less inclined to be engaged with the rest of the story? Explain your answers.

2. What are two other improbable situations in this book that one has to accept in order to engage with the story? Do you have trouble with either situation you name?

3. Are there any situations that stretch your imagination too far and makes you unable to accept the basic premise of the book? What is (are) it (they)?

4. Are you willing in your reading experiences to accept some unrealistic situations in order to become engaged in a book? What would be the purpose of doing so?

(see the answer keys)

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