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 is difficult for Alice to find?

2. What was the name of the book that Gertrude Stein was having privately printed in 1907?

3. Whose relatives returned to California?

4. Cézanne's portrait of a woman inspired what Gertrude Stein work?

5. What famous school did Gertrude Stein attend?

Short Essay Questions

1. What caused Alice to throw herself into literature after having spent so much time studying music?

2. Gertrude Stein left California when she was 17-years-old. The author describes the writer as having a drastic change of lifestyle when she moved to the East Coast. What was the main change in Gertrude's life at that time?

3. Why did William Cook's father refuse to believe there was war?

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

5. Among the people discussed with Fernande is Germaine Pichot. What is unusual about the wife of the Spanish painter?

6. Although one of the reasons Mr. Stein took his children to Europe was to receive a European education, he changed his mind regarding language when the family moved to California. Why?

7. The author claims that Alice's father came from Polish patriotic stock. What in Alice's history causes the author to make such a statement?

8. Why is it difficult for Alice to relate to her family's military service?

9. How did Alice come to meet Gertrude Stein's brother and sister-in-law?

10. Describe the premise of Stein's novel "The Making of Americans."

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Patriotism is one of the main topics in the Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. Although Stein, Toklas and many of the other characters in the story were expatriates, they managed to maintain their patriotism toward their native lands. Explain how a person could be a patriotic expatriate. Is it possible to be both or it is hypocritical?

Essay Topic 2

Stein says that there is a big difference in the attitudes of Americans and Europeans in regard to work ethic and material possessions. Americans are much more obsessed with both while Europeans are satisfied with enjoying life and all it has to offer. One good example of this is Matisse's reaction to the house in Clamart. Examine the difference in these points between Stein and her European friends.

Essay Topic 3

Money was mentioned on occasion but usually when it posed a problem regarding the ability to live in Paris or during war time. It was never discussed how Stein and Toklas made their money, only that it was wise to be frugal. When the women ran out of money, they contacted relatives for help. Where do you think the women got the funds to live on? How did their lifestyle help or hinder their financial status?

(see the answer keys)

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