The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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 event caused Alice to lapse with her music?

2. One of the paintings by Matisse that Stein loved was titled, "La Femme au Chapeau." What is the English translation of "chapeau?"

3. Picasso painted a famous scene with friends gathered around what object?

4. What military position did Alice's great-great-uncle hold?

5. What activity did Stein partake in every afternoon?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why was Gertrude grateful to have failed to receive her degree from Johns Hopkins?

2. How had Matisse's life changed since he arrived in Paris?

3. When Alice first goes to the starting this apartment, she is introduced to Helene, the Stein's housekeeper. What are Alice's impressions of Helene?

4. Why did it not matter to Gertrude Stein what language her literature was printed in?

5. What most impressed Alice about her first meeting with Gertrude Stein in Paris?

6. What is Gertrude Stein's brother's theory about the masking of unemployment in Paris?

7. What caused Alice's grandfather to leave Paris?

8. Why did Toklas say it was with "infinite relief England came into the war"?

9. What was one of the reasons Alice cannot understand Gertrude's insistence upon remaining connected to Allegheny, Pennsylvania?

10. According to Alice Gertrude Stein remained firmly born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. What was one of the reasons that Gertrude refused to consider California her birthplace?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

It is well known that Stein and Toklas were lovers and were possibly secretly married in 1908. The lifestyle of the couple was such that the unusual living arrangement was never questioned by the couple's friends. Why was the subject not openly discussed in the book? How do you think Stein's and Toklas' families reacted to their marriage?

Essay Topic 2

Stein is very good at characterization of the main group of visitors to the Paris salon. Choose one of the following characters and explain how the descriptions in the book enhance the reader's image of the character.

1. Pablo Picasso

2. Gertrude Stein

3. Alice B. Toklas

4. Henri Matisse

Essay Topic 3

Much of the book details the relationships between Stein and a lengthy cast of characters. Most of the characters are famous painters and authors although many are academics, friends and relatives that bear little impact on the story as a whole. Why were these people included in the book? Do you feel that the inclusion helped or hindered the picture Stein was trying to paint of life in Paris?

(see the answer keys)

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