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

2. Why did Joan want to enter the New Year's Day race?

3. Once Joan's husband left in Chapter 1, Ebb Tide, how did Joan react?

4. What was Joan instructed to bring for her trip to the seal island?

5. In Chapter 2, The Call of the Seal, what was Joan's only daily outing for her first three weeks on the island?

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 personality differ from her husband's?

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

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

5. What costume did Joan wear for the New Year's Eve footrace, and what did it symbolize to her?

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

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

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. 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

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

Compare and contrast Joan's husband with Joshua Cahoon. What did each man represent to Joan? What aspects of herself did each man reflect back to Joan? 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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