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's old book club always end up canceling their December meetings?

2. Why did Joan have trouble finding something to wear to the fish market's Christmas party?

3. How did the other patrons of Larry's PX respond when Joan entered?

4. Who hauled and chopped wood for Joan during her stay at the cottage?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Who did Joan Erikson send to stay with Joan and how did Joan feel about having these guests?

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

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

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

5. What did Joan take with her to the seal island in Chapter 15, Wild and Salty, and how did what she took on this trip show her growth since her initial trip to the island?

6. What was ironic about how Joan felt once her husband drove away from their house on the day they separated?

7. How did Joan's acceptance of her body change in Chapter 15, Wild and Salty?

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

9. What evidence in Chapter 16, Port of Call, indicated that Joan's husband had grown and changed during their separation?

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 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.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss Joan's reliability as a narrator. How reliable is she? In what ways might she be biased? Do you think her perceptions of her experiences are accurate? Why or why not? Cite examples from the text to support your arguments.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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