Classic Short Story Quiz Answers! John Cheever, Edgar Allan Poe and More
Tally up your right answers and find your score at the bottom!
In James Joyce’s classic short story “Araby,” the 13 year-old narrator hopes to buy a gift for his crush at:
a) Rite Aid
b) a bookstore
c) a toy store
d) a bazaar
In Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery,” the winner of the annual community lottery receives what as a reward?
a) a book containing all knowledge
b) a baby
c) death by stoning
d) a five-day, all-expenses-paid trip to Saint-Tropez for two
In David Foster Wallace’s short story, “Forever Overhead,” the 13 year-old protagonist becomes paralyzed with hesitation before doing what?
a) asking a girl out on a date
b) jumping off a diving board
c) getting in line for a roller coaster
d) biting into a McRib
In John Updike’s 1961 short story “A&P,” the protagonist, Sammy, quits his job as a store clerk after his manager yells at who?
a) Sammy’s 97 year-old great grandmother (for attempting to steal cabbage)
b) Sammy’s dog (for having an accident on the floor in the frozen food section)
c) a group of teenage girls (for wearing bathing suits in the store)
d) Jesus (of whom Sammy’s manager has occasional visions)
In Edgar Allan Poe’s classic horror story, “The Tell-Tale Heart,” where does the protagonist hide the body parts of the man he kills?
a) inside a grand piano
b) in a pot of spaghetti
c) in a wedding cake
d) under the floorboards of the man’s room
In Flannery O’Connor’s short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” the grandmother’s cat is named:
b) Pitty Sing
In John Cheever’s short story “The Swimmer,” whose pool does the protagonist, Neddy Merill, swim in first?
a) the Westerhazys’
b) the Adam’s
c) the Bunkers’
d) the Hammers’
Jhumpa Lahri’s “Interpreter of Maladies” was only the seventh short story collection to have won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction? What was the first?
a) “The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford,” by Jean Stafford
b) “The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter,” by Katherine Anne Porter
c) The Bible
d) “Tales of the South Pacific,” by James A. Michener
Ernest Hemingway’s short story “Hills Like White Elephants” consists entirely of a conversation between two people sitting in a train station in what country?
The titular story of Lydia Davis’ collection consists of this single sentence:
a) “My mother is a fish.”
b) “that Scotland has so few trees.”
c) “And so is George Washington.”
d) “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
Now, find your score:
0-3: Narrator, “Araby” (room for improvement)
Like the naive protagonist of James Joyce’s short story, you’re a clever young’n with big aspirations, but you need some more experience. Instead of hunting for the perfect gift for your crush at the bazaar, head the bookstore, stock up on a few short story collections, and get reading.
4-7: Sammy, “A&P” (expert in the making)
All right, big guy. You’ve got some cojones, walking out on the job like that. But you still have more to learn. Keep up with your reading; you’ll be a full-blown short story expert some day.
8-10: Neddy Merrill, “The Swimmer” (pro--needs another challenge)
Just as the protagonist of Cheever’s famous story has swum through many a pool, so you, dear reader, have immersed yourself in many a short story. We bet you’re exhausted now. The leaves are changing, the sun is setting, the revellers are heading in. It’s time for some new reading adventures. Start with our lists of New York Novels and Modern Women’s Fiction.