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English I Midterm Study Guide

The Odyssey-Homer
1. What are the characteristics of an epic poem?
2. How does Odysseus save his men from the Lotus Eaters?
3. How does he escape the Cyclops?
4. What is the Cyclops’ name? Who is his father?
5. Identify aspects of Greek culture in the poem
6. What happens on Ismarus, The Island of Helios?
7. How does Odysseus help his men escape from The Lotus Eaters and the Sirens?
8. Who are Odysseus’ wife and son?
9. Who does Odysseus meet in the Land of the Dead?

Julius Caesar- William Shakespeare

1. When is Caesar assassinated?
2. Who are the first and last persons to stab Caesar?
3. What is the meaning of the words, Et tu, Brute?”
4. How is Caesar warned not to go to the Senate?
5. Who are Antony, Brutus, Cassius, Calphurnia and Portia?
6. What are the groundlings?
7. What is the “falling sickness?”
8. In what theatre were Shakespeare’s plays performed?
9. How does Portia die?
10. What happens to Cinna the poet?
11. Review famous quotes from the play.
12. What does Caesar think of Cassius?
13. Why do the conspirators decide to let Antony live?

Short Stories: Know story details-characters- plot , themes, authors, etc.

The Birds-Daphne du Maurier

1. Who is the protagonist? What is his occupation?
2 What is the Cold War? How is the story connected to this event?
3. How does the story end?
4. What are the major conflicts in this story?

The Necklace- Guy de Maupassant

1. Who is the main character? Describe her?
2. What are the major conflicts in this story?
3. What sacrifices does her husband make for her?
4. What is the major revelation at the end of the story?

If I Forget Thee, O Earth-Arthur C. Clarke

1. Describe the main character.
2. Why is he going outside for the first time?
3. Where is the story set?
4. Why is Marvin’s dad taking to see the earth?
5. How does the Cold War influence this story?

Sonata for Harp and Bicycle-Joan Aiken

1. Where is the story set? Name the characters.
2. What is weird about the office where the main characters work?
3. How do we know Jason has been inside the building after five?
4. Why are the ghosts haunting the building? (Know details.)
5. How do they break the curse?
One Ordinary Day with Peanuts-Shirley Jackson
1. Describe Mr. Johnson.
2. Where is the story set?
3. What are some of the nice things he does?
4. What happens at the end?
5. What does Mrs. Johnson do?

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty-James Thurber

1. Why does Mitty daydream?
2. What are his daydreams?
3. What is his relationship like with Mrs. Mitty?
4. How are his daydreams different from his real life?
5. What does his final daydream say about his life?

The Hitman- TC Boyle

1. What symbols does the author use to connect the hitman with death and evil?

The Invalid’s Story-Mark Twain

1. What two items are switched in the story?
2. Why is the narrator on the train?
3. What is ironic about the ending of the story?

White House Diary- Ladybird Johnson

1. What event does the story describe?
2. Where is it set? What is the date?
3. Where is Lyndon Johnson sworn in as president?
4. Why does Jackie refuse to change her suit?

The Milkman-Stephen King

1. What is the Milkman’s name?
2. Compare the inside of the van with the outside.
3. What are his “favorite” deliveries?
4. How does the author set the scene at the beginning of the story?

Back when I was Homeless-Christina Kapp

1. How does Christina and her family survive?
2. What saves her from homelessness?

The Lady or The Tiger?-Frank Stockton

1. What is the system of justice?
2. How is the king described?
3. To what door does the princess direct her lover?

The Interlopers-Saki
1. Why are the two families fighting?
2. How does nature intervene?
3. How does the story end?
4. What are the main conflicts in the story?
5. What is the significance of the title?

The Lottery-Shirley Jackson

1. Who is the winner of the lottery?
2. What do you “win?”
3. Why so the people in the town participate, even though they know the outcome?
4. What are some of the symbols in the story associated with death?
The Black Cat- Edgar Allan Poe
1. What is the cat’s name?
2. What causes the narrator to change his behavior toward the cat?
3. How is the narrator’s crime discovered?
4. From what location is the narrator telling the story?

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty- James Thurber

1. Why does Walter daydream?
2. What does he imagine himself doing?
3. What is the sound which acts a transition from real life to fantasy?
4. What is Walter’s last daydream?

The Scarlet Ibis-James Hurst

1. How does Doodle get his nickname?
2. Compare Doodle to the ibis?
3. How does Doodle die?
4. What is the moral of this story?

The Gift of the Magi- O. Henry

1. Who are the main characters?
2. What do they each sell? What do they buy?
3. What is the significance of the title?

Literary Terms: See Handout on EDline

The format will be T/F, Multiple Choice, Short Answer, Fill in the Blank, Quote
Identification and Essay.