Cakes and Ale: Or the Skeleton in the Cupboard Test | Final 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 does William think of as the "crown of literature?"

2. What is Amy sure that Ted did not know?

3. What makes William weak in the knees?

4. To what do the Driffields invite William?

5. What does the Bear and Key rent William?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does William re-connect with the Driffields?

2. What do Roy, Amy and William do when William arrives at Amy's home?

3. What does William think about the House of Lords and how he would assign rank within literature?

4. Describe Isabel Trafford.

5. What does William say about Rosie's affairs and what are Amy and Roy's response?

6. Describe Rosie's home and Rose herself.

7. Why does Ted buy the house he buys and what does Amy do despite Ted fighting her about it?

8. What novel does Ted publish which is a ruthlessly unsentimental tale dealing with a child's death, and what is the public's response to the novel?

9. When William visits her in Yonkers, what does Rosie reveal about her marriage to Ted and a child they had?

10. Describe the situation that keeps Rosie occupied for a couple weeks and which infuriates William.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Rosie Driffield is a person and idea that weaves itself throughout the entire narrative. One might even say that the book is about Rosie rather than Ted or any other character. Discuss the following:

1. Discuss Rosie's character. What are her strengths and weaknesses? Is she presented as a well-rounded or flat character? What is she passionate about? Is she passionate about anything? Is she honest and sincere? Is this a woman that men and maybe some women would die for? Why or why not?

2. Does Rosie change from when she is revealed as a young woman to when she is older and William writes about meeting her again in New York? How is she the same? How is she different?

3. Rosie ignores the rather strict conventions of her day for women. She neither feels bound by convention nor feels the need to flaunt her behavior. Research and state the beliefs about women and expectations of behavior for women of this late Victorian era. How does Rosie fit or break those beliefs/expectations? Give specific examples.

Essay Topic 2

In chapter 7, William wonders why the adult Driffields bother with a dull, quiet, and pretentious adolescent but they take him sailing and picnicking and William becomes passionate about rubbing brasses and occasionally spends time in the church yard talking with Rosie who treats him like a grown-up. Discuss the following:

1. Do you think William's aunt and uncle have a right to fear the influence of Ted and Rosie? Why or why not?

2. William says he becomes passionate about rubbing brasses, which is a pastime Ted introduces to William. What does this say about William's impressionistic nature? Is William easily influenced as a youth? What about as an adult when conferring with Amy and Roy?

3. Do you think having one or two adults outside the family involved in a young person's life makes a difference for that person? How? Is this a positive thing? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

There are a number of interesting questions raised by this book. Questions that most likely Maugham wanted the readers to consider and think through carefully. Discuss the following:

1. What does the term "author agenda" mean?

2. Name one idea/concept you think may have been a part of the author's agenda. Analyze that idea throughout the book and discuss Maugham's probable agenda concerning that idea.

2. Do you think writers who have an agenda for writing should point it out in a preface?

3. How often do you think fiction is written with a clear agenda in mind by the author?

(see the answer keys)

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