A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Joan Anderson
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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. Where was Joan's husband sent to live at age twelve?

2. When did Nickerson's Fish Market close for the winter?

3. What did Joan's husband think when Joan made an angel in the snow?

4. How did the seals respond when Joan dove into the ocean?

5. What did Joan's father-in-law do for a living?

Short Essay Questions

1. In Chapter 6, Waves of Truth, why did Joan get angry at the fish market customer who looked like Santa Claus?

2. How did Joan's winter days and nights with her husband and children compare to her winter on Cape Cod?

3. In Chapter 9, Fogged In, how did Joan compare women to fog?

4. What did Joan think of the wealthy wives who came into the fish market and ordered expensive fish?

5. When Joan and her husband spent Christmas together at the cottage, what changes did each of them display?

6. How did Joan's husband respond to her day with the seals and what does his response indicate about their marriage?

7. In Chapter 4, Riptide, how did Joan relate the state of her marriage to a riptide?

8. Why did Joan and her husband decide to separate?

9. In Chapter 7, Silent Seas, Silent Nights, why did Joan mentally compare her marriage to several boats which had gotten frozen in place in the harbor?

10. How much did Joan tell the townspeople in Cape Cod about her reasons for being in town?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the changes and growth in Joan's husband during his wife's year at Cape Cod. Cite examples from the text to support your arguments.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the depiction of gender roles in "A Year by the Sea." What characteristics and roles were ascribed to women in the book? What characteristics and roles were ascribed to men in the book? Did the men in the fishing community of Cape Cod treat the women as equals, or did they try to dominate them? Did Joan's husband treat Joan as an equal prior to their year-long separation, or did he try to dominate her? Cite at least three examples from the text to support your conclusions.

Essay Topic 3

The subtitle of "A Year by the Sea" is "Thoughts of An Unfinished Woman." Discuss why you think Joan chose this title. How did she depict herself as being unfinished in the book? Was she "finished" by the end, or was she still "unfinished" at the book's end? Did her definition of unfinished change during the course of the book? Cite examples from the text to support your arguments.

(see the answer keys)

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