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. In what neighborhood is Barnard College located?

2. Who invites Mattie to her home and gives her books in Chapters 15-16?

3. The letter that Aunt Josie intercepts from the postmistress in Chapter 14 is intended for whom?

4. How is Uncle Fifty related to Mattie?

5. What had Grace Brown given Mattie to burn in A Northern Light?

Short Essay Questions

1. How is the character of Emmie Hubbard described? What information does the reader learn of Emmie’s situation in Chapter 14?

2. How is the character of Weaver Smith described when he is introduced in Chapter 2?

3. Where does Mattie shop for books and other items in Chapter 6? What does she find here?

4. Why has Uncle Fifty left in Chapter 12? How does his departure affect Mattie?

5. What does Mattie realize while out boating with Royal Loomis in Chapter 15? How does she feel about the realization?

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

7. How does Mattie feel about her involvement in the crisis that occurs in the opening of the novel?

8. Why does Mattie ask her Aunt Josie for financial help in Chapter 8?

9. How is the character of Grace Brown depicted in the novel? What is the historical truth of this character?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The narrative of A Northern Light rotates between two different timelines. Discuss the linear structure of the plot and the author’s reasons for developing the plot in this way. How do the events in the two timelines relate to one another? How does the author develop tension using this narrative style?

Essay Topic 2

Analyze and discuss the theme of appearances versus reality in the novel. How does this theme apply to Miss Wilcox? How does it apply in the letters of Grace Brown? What other characters exhibit an unexpected secret?

Essay Topic 3

Racism and Sexism in A Northern Light

a. Discuss the ways that racism is addressed as a theme in the novel. Which characters in the story represent this theme? How?

b. Discuss ways that sexism and gender expectations are explored thematically in A Northern Light. Which characters represent this theme? How does the author connect the themes of racism and sexism?

(see the answer keys)

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