A Northern Light Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Jennifer Donnelly
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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. Mattie’s Aunt Josie is married to what kind of businessman?

2. When Mattie asks Aunt Josie for financial help for college, Aunt Josie tells Mattie she’s as selfish as whom?

3. What is the name of Mattie’s older brother?

4. What is the last name of Mattie’s Aunt Josie?

5. What teacher of Mattie’s shows enthusiasm for her acceptance to Barnard College?

Short Essay Questions

1. What purchase does Mattie impulsively make in Chapter 6? What are her thoughts on this action?

2. What is the crisis that occurs in the opening of A Northern Light? How does this crisis involve the protagonist of the novel?

3. What does Mattie discover through Grace Brown’s letter in Chapter 16? What does this clue indicate to Mattie?

4. How is Mattie’s father described in the novel? What are his principle concerns in the beginning of the story?

5. What does Aunt Josie discover about Emmie Hubbard in Chapter 14? How does she make this discovery?

6. What conflicts regarding the expected roles of women are introduced in Chapter 1?

7. What clue does Mattie discover in Grace Brown’s letters in Chapter 13? What does she do with this information?

8. What book does Miss Wilcox give to Mattie in Chapter 15? What are Mattie’s impressions of the book?

9. What parallels does Mattie make between her situation and that of Grace Brown in Chapter 10?

10. How is the character of Lawton Gokey described in the novel? How have Lawton’s actions influenced Mattie’s situation?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the language style of the novel. How would you characterize the style of the dialogue of the characters? Does the author use specific idioms related to the setting of the narrative? What can you discern of the novel’s characters based on their style of speaking?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss Mattie’s relationship with Miss Wilcox and Miss Wilcox’s response when Mattie informs her of her plans to marry Royal Loomis. Why do you think Miss Wilcox is disappointed? How does Mattie’s situation reflect on her own?

Essay Topic 3

Examine the theme of duty and obligation as seen in A Northern Light. How are Mattie’s duties to her family at odds with her desires to become a writer? When in your experience have you had to choose between duty and desire? What do you think Mattie should choose? Why?

(see the answer keys)

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