The Beginning of Spring 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 Frank's response when Lisa arrives on her first day?

2. In the novel's opening paragraph, Nellie has taken her three children and left, presumably for where?

3. When Frank asks Miss Kinsman what she seeks, what is her reply?

4. As Frank and the children await in the dining room on Lisa's first day, how does she arrive?

5. After collecting his children where he finds them, Frank takes them where?

Short Essay Questions

1. Subsequent to his questioning by the Security Police, while walking with Volodya after they exit the Ministry of Defense in a brief discussion, Frank spots something across the square that prompts him to do what next?

2. What is Rusalochka's like?

3. What steps does Frank take to retrieve his children after receiving a phone call from the Alexander Station?

4. What sort of description does Penelope Fitzgerald provide of Tvyordov, the chief compositor?

5. In the first paragraph of Chapter 1, what situation occurs, the resolution of which is the main thrust of the tale?

6. What custom does Lisa partake in on the day prior to Palm Sunday that surprises Frank?

7. What sort of character is Mrs. Graham shown to be in Chapter 18?

8. What sort of business transaction does Frank have with Kuriatin in Chapter 8 that now appears to be repeating itself in Chapter 12?

9. Dolly is very clingy on the morning the children return from their visit to the dacha with Lisa, but Lisa is not with them, so Frank allows her to stay with him until noon when he takes her home and they encounter what?

10. How does Mrs. Graham steer her conversation with Frank when he comes back to discuss Miss Kinsman?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the first chapter Penelope Fitzgerald introduces the reader to a number of important characters. Who is Nellie Reid? How does the story center on her? Who is Frank Reid? What does he do in the first chapter? How does Selwyn Crane come into the story? What role does he play? What member of the Reid household is Toma?

Essay Topic 2

Talking with Selwyn in Chapter 20, Charlie notes that Dolly is adept in the kitchen. Selwyn replies that if adult women and men live simply, doing tasks as the need arises, their children will soon seek to join in. Why does Charlie make the comment about Dolly initially? Following Selwyn's response, why is it Charlie then asks if he thought Nellie lived simply? Why does Selwyn offer no reply?

Essay Topic 3

Penelope Fitzgerald displays Frank as a thoughtful and caring manager in Chapter 5. Yet it is in that very chapter that he lets Korobyev go. Is this not a contradiction? What does Frank tell Agafya, the tea women, when she begs for him to take Korobyev back on? Is Frank sympathetic and kind, or merely equitable?

(see the answer keys)

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