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

2. Why did Joan want a job at the fish market?

3. In Chapter 6, Waves of Truth, why did Joan think women looked exhausted as the holidays approached?

4. In Chapter 4, Riptide, which of the following was not a task Joan had to do in her job at Nickerson's Fish Market?

5. What costume Joan did Joan wear for the New Year's Day race?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. In Chapter 9, Fogged In, how did Joan become estranged from her brother?

4. How did Joan fare in the footrace in Chapter 8, Getting My Feet Wet, and what did the race symbolize to her?

5. What was Joan's husband's childhood like, and how did his childhood experiences affect the couple's marriage?

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

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

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

9. What was Larry's PX and how did the men who congregated there respond to Joan's presence?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the metaphor of the sea and the tide in "A Year by the Sea." How did each phase of the tide relate to Joan and her life? Cite examples from the text to support your conclusions.

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the importance of the seal island to Joan. What lessons did she learn from the island and the seals that inhabit it? Why did her husband not understand the importance of the island to her? Cite examples from the text to support your arguments.

(see the answer keys)

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