English 207: World Folktales and Literature
Study Guide for Tests: Spring 2006   

Dr. Tina L. Hanlon

Associate Professor of English
Ferrum College

Folktales and Literature Course Home Page


Test 2: April 4, 2006

This study guide has been checked on Monday, 4/3.  It will not be changed again unless errors are discovered before Tuesday. If you see errors or have questions, send them to thanlon@ferrum.edu.

Review the general guidelines for Test 1 below.  The same information on the format for the three parts of the test and tips for succeeding on the test will apply, except that Test 2 covers all literary works and folk literature studied since Test 1. If you did not do well on Test 1, read the section below called Tips on avoiding common pitfalls on tests of this type with paragraph and essay questions, think about which of these tips applies to you, and be sure to avoid the pitfalls this time.

THERE WILL BE A POSSIBLE EXTRA-CREDIT QUESTION INVOLVING ILLUSTRATIONS/PAINTINGS OF STORIES WE HAVE STUDIED OR JACK TALE PLAYER PERFORMANCES. You would need to review paintings/illustrations available online or on reserve, or picture books in order to answer the former.

Types of folklore and literature we have studied for Test 2 (both genres and thematic categories listed below)

Fantasy novel
Short story
Narrative poems
Picture books

Jack tales
    (Note: "Wicked John and the Devil" is sometimes "Wicked Jack" but the Jack Tale Players and Richard Chase call the blacksmith John.)
Quest tales
Transformation tales (including loathly lady)
Beauty and the Beast/animal bridegroom tales or animal brides
"Cinderella" variants and other tales with strong heroines

Story theatre dramatizations by R. Rex Stephenson and the Jack Tale Players
Satires of traditional tales/fractured fairy tales

Remember that many stories we have studied can fit into more than one category; e.g., Jack tales are often quest tales and/or trickster tales, some quest tales contain transformations and/or strong heroines 

Literary works we have studied for Test 2:


Nineteenth Century

Twentieth Century

Other terms and concepts to be familiar with

Don't forget that Study Questions on The Metamorphosis and various study questions on schedule and journal guidelines can help you review for this test.

Test 1:

The guidelines below have been revised on 2/9/06.  They will not be changed again unless someone alerts me to an error or you send suggestions that would enhance the study guide, not change the basic requirements of the test.  If you have suggestions for review questions or ideas to add to the study guide, send them to thanlon@ferrum.edu.

General Guidelines:

Matching Section (20% of test grade)

Short Answer Section (5 points each; 60% of text grade):

Sample Short Answer Question: Discuss briefly an example of a trickster tale.

Sample Answer: “The Open Window,” a modern short story by Saki (H. H. Munro), is a kind of trickster tale because Vera plays a trick on a visitor to her home by making him believe he is witnessing a ghost story coming to life. Like many trickster tales in folklore, this story places more emphasis on the humor and the cleverness of the trick than on the morality of the trickster’s behavior. We laugh as Vera gathers information about Mr. Nuttel’s background, convinces him her male relatives died three years earlier, and watches him run in fright when they return home looking very much alive. The story focuses on Vera’s skill as a storyteller who loves to shock people with wild tales she invents. Although some tricksters are tricked in return or learn their lesson, Vera gets away with her trick and the dupe, Mr. Nuttel, does not get revenge.

Notice that this answer connects the character Vera with folklore and oral storytelling traditions in three ways (see underlined phrases). It also shows how this modern short story is similar to trickster tales in folklore, and different from some trickster tales. You do not have to include this much detail in your short answers. You probably won’t have time to write this much for each one, but this sample of an excellent answer illustrates several ways to discuss typical features of folktales. Do not overgeneralize about characteristics of each type of tale. (Many trickster tales do emphasize moral issues, for example.)

Essays Question (30% of test grade):

Tips on avoiding common pitfalls on tests of this type with paragraph and essay questions:

Notes from our review session in class on Feb. 9.  Items I have added since then are in boldface.

Types of tales we have studied (Remember that these are overlapping categories.):

Literary works we have studied:


Victorian (19th century)

Modern (20th century):

Other terms and concepts to be familiar with

Last update: 04/04/2006 10:27 AM