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. What victory did Joan think she had won when she reached the finish line of the race?

2. Who voided Joan's many mistakes at the fish market cash register?

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

4. Why did Joan and her husband decide to spend Christmas together during their separation year?

5. What wall decoration from New Mexico made Joan think she was at a crossroads in her life?

Short Essay Questions

1. What was Joan's day with the seals like?

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

3. What incident told Joan that the other workers at the fish market had accepted her?

4. What is ebb tide and how did Joan relate the concept of ebb tide to her own life?

5. What reflections did the seals give Joan on her body image?

6. How did Joshua Cahoon treat Joan when he took her to the seal island?

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

8. How did Joshua Cahoon differ from Joan's husband?

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

10. Where did Joan and her husband meet, and how did Joan's in-laws feel about the couple's relationship?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

At the end of the book, Joan and her husband reunited. Discuss whether you found this ending satisfying or not and why. Did it negate Joan's feminist precepts for her to take her husband back? Was it believable that Joan would reunite with her husband after her unhappiness during her marriage? Cite examples from the text to support your arguments.

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the theme of self-reliance in the book. How did Joan demonstrate self-reliance at Cape Cod, and was she self-reliant all her life, or did she become more so during her year by the sea? Cite examples from the text to support your arguments.

(see the answer keys)

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