Daughters of the House 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. Where will Thérèse sleep?

2. Why does Victorine takes Léonie and Thérèse into the woods?

3. What does Léonie imagine she will do?

4. Who has died at the beginning of Chapter 22?

5. What has Léonie been doing while Thérèse has been in the convent?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do you think is symbolic about the dinner the two women share?

2. The burning of objects occur repeatedly throughout this novel, the first idea of this occurring in the chapter "The Altar." What do you think could be the symbolism behind the burning of various objects?

3. In the chapter "The Photographs," what in the photographs displayed again reveals the different focus of the two women when they are girls?

4. How is the dream connected to Léonie's dream in the first chapter?

5. What is the implication of Madeleine scolding Thérèse for upsetting her father on his first day home?

6. Describe Thérèse's dream of Antoinette.

7. What scene in the chapter, "The Camp Bed," suggests that the personal dynamics of the household is about to change?

8. How is the relationship between Baptiste and Léonie developed in this chapter?

9. In the chapter "The Green Scarf," how does the celebration in the woods contrast to that of organized religion?

10. The chapter titled, "The Water Bottle" is dense with imagery. Identify two of the images and what they might represent.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In chapter 3, Thérèse has left the monastery after being behind its walls for about twenty years. She feels disoriented and confused at life in the "real" world. Answer the following questions in a well-developed essay using examples from the book as well as personal experience:

1. How long do you think it will take Thérèse to adjust to the differences between a cloistered life and life among a diversity of people and places?

2. Why do you think Thérèse chose to close herself off from the "real" world? Are her motivations strictly spiritual? If she is alive after the ending of this story, do you think she will go back to the cloistered life? Why or why not?

3. Many men and women confined in a penal system for any duration of more than a few years find that they cannot adjust to "life on the outside," and often end up back in prison. Some even commit a crime in order to go back to prison. Why do you think this happens? Is there any way to help any person who has been isolated, whether in a penal system or otherwise, to adjust to a more public life? Explain.

Essay Topic 2

Chapters 18 and 19 both obliquely refer to the rape of Antoinette by a German soldier during WWII. There are a number of references throughout the text that implies that Thérèse, and perhaps even Léonie is a product of this rape. Answer the following questions in a well-developed essay using examples from the book as well as personal experience:

1. List and discuss the references throughout the novel that suggests that Antoinette is raped by a German soldier. Include dreams, conversations, and any other sources. What is your interpretation of the textual evidence?

2. Discuss the references that suggest that Thérèse is a product of the rape. Are there references that imply that Léonie is not only Thérèse's sister, but her twin and is a product of the same rape? Find those references also. What do you believe about the parentage of the two girls? Support your statements with specific textual references.

3. Breasts are an obvious symbol of maternity in that women breastfeed their children. Discuss the implications of Antoinette's breast cancer and her role as a mother juxtaposed next to the fact that she is raped.

Essay Topic 3

In chapter 6, Thérèse and Léonie have a meal together. Léonie takes special care in setting the table and choosing the menu. Choose one of the following questions and write a well-developed essay using examples from the book as well as personal experience:

1. Follow the thread of food and eating that occurs throughout the novel, giving examples of that theme and an interpretation of the examples you choose.

2. Food is essential to the continuation of life, and thus is often offered symbolically as well as concretely in many cultures. Compare and contrast the symbolism of food in several diverse cultures.

3. Discuss how food is treated in advertisements in the country in which you live, including billboard advertisements, magazines, t.v., and radio. What is the main purpose of the advertisements? Are they successful? Do they sway you?

(see the answer keys)

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