Introduction to Western Literature, Fall, 1999

Examination on Fiction Doris' Class

I. Vocabulary Exercise: In the following, please pick up five words and make complex sentences with these words. 10%

1. pious 2. exhilarate 3.perplexity 4.impunity

5.delicate 6. delirium7.poignant 8.juvenile

9.insidious 10.connoisseur 11.sheepish 12.vigorously

II. Explain the following terms about Fiction and discuss their functions with examples you learn from the stories we have read so far. 10%


Narrative point of view



Verbal Irony

    III. Identification Questions 30%

1. Please 1) Identify the author and the title of the quoted passage.

2)Discuss your response to the passage. 3)What is the mother's

long cherished wish?

The gray-green surface changes to the bright colors of our three images, sharpening and deepening all at once. And although we don't speak, I know we all see it: Together we look like our mother. Her same eyes, her same mouth, open in surprise to see, at last, her long-cherished wish.

2. Please 1) Identify the author and the title of the quoted passage.

2)Explain what kind of revenge is taken here in the story and how

successful this revenge is taken. 3)Discuss whether you agree with

the narrator's reason for revenge or not.

At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitely settled--but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk. I must not only punish but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.

3. Please 1) Identify the author and the title of the quoted passage.

2)Discuss the point of view in the story, what is achieved here with

such a point of view. 3)Who is "he"? What does the description of

his physical state tell you about the man's situation in the story?

How is it related to the story's plot arrangement?

His neck was in pain, and lifting his hand to it, he found it horribly swollen. He knew that it had a circle of black where the rope had bruised it. His eyes felt congested; he could no longer close them. His tongue was swollen with thirst; he relieved its fever by thrusting it forward from between his teeth into the cool air. How softly the turf had carpeted the untravelled avenue! He could no longer feel the roadway beneath his feet!

    III. Essay Questions: Please choose Five of the following questions and answer the questions in a short paragraph with supports you find in the stories. 50%

    1. What is your reaction to the statement "I am becoming Chinese" in

    "A Pair of Tickets"? How does the narrator's description of her

    journey from San Francisco to Guangzhou and Shanghai and her

    recollection of her mother's experience in Kweilin tell you about her

    experience, becoming Chinese?


    2.What is the point of view in "A Cask of Amontillado"? What is the

    point of view in "A Pair of Ticket"? What is achieved with such a point

    of view? Compare the two narrators in these two stories and discuss

    which narrator you would trust more and why.


    3.Who are the characters in the "Zebra Storyteller"? What kind of

    human personality do they have? What kind of association can you

    draw from observing these characters? (For instance, how do you like

    the zebra storyteller? What does he do in the story? What is the

    function of a storyteller? Why do you think he sees through the

    Siamese Cat's disguise?)


    4.The Zebra Storyteller can be seen as an epitome of the writers we

    are going to read in the following year or throughout the literature

    courses in the coming years. What do you think we can gain from the

    zebra storyteller's experience?


5.Discuss the arrangement of events in "An Occurrence at Owl

Creek Bridge." What effects are achieved by such an

arrangement? Are you surprised that "a blinding white light blazes

all about [Peyton Farquhar], with a sound like the shock of a

cannon--then all is darkness and silence" at the end when the

story seems to suggest that he "is about to clasp" his beautiful



6.What kind of person is Paul in "Paul's Case"? Please provide

some details from the story to support your judgement about Paul

(e.g. his room, his appearance, things that he does in the story,

especially how he is attracted to paintings and fine music, and how

he looks at carnation/flowers in the story).