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. Which house guest was objected to by Helene?

2. Gertrude had a large number of photographs depicting what historical event?

3. Which of these people is not on Alice's list of geniuses?

4. Who would supply the lessons to Alice?

5. What was the name of one of the top two large spring salons?

Short Essay Questions

1. Of the Americans that visited Paris, Picasso approved of very few. One woman of which Picasso approved was referred to as the Empress. Describe her.

2. What was the impetus to convince Alice to travel to Europe for the first time?

3. What was referred to as "un petit Luxembourg?"

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

5. Toklas claims that Stein and Fitzgerald had a peculiar way with each other. Explain.

6. What inspired Picasso to devote himself to Cubism?

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. 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?

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

10. What about Picasso's paintings was considered to be entirely Spanish?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Stein was born and spent the first six months of her life in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. Explain why it was important to Stein to maintain the connection with her birthplace. What were the benefits of embracing her Pennsylvania roots as opposed to the roots created in California?

Essay Topic 2

After the Steins returned to the United States from Europe, Mr. Stein wanted the children to abandon their foreign language skills and focus solely on American English. Why would Stein do this? What are the pros and cons of focusing solely on American English?

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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