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. Why does Thérèse bang her head against the floor?

2. What does Leonie take out before leaving?

3. What does Léonie enjoy?

4. Who kept the letters Antoinette sent to her during Thérèse's infancy?

5. When Léonie awakens, what does she realize?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the vision experience that Thérèse has in this chapter.

2. How is it intimated that parts of the house are "open," and other parts "secreted," just as the two girls are open in some ways and secretive in others?

3. Describe the first few minutes of Thérèse and Léonie's time together as described in "The Chandelier."

4. How does Léonie symbolically enter the adult world in the chapter titled "The Ironing Board"?

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

6. How does Antoinette's wasted and emaciated body trigger feelings within Thérèse of her own body image as evidenced in the chapter "The Pillows"?

7. What so you think is the symbolism attached to Thérèse jumping free of her burning clothes?

8. Describe the nightmare with which the chapter "The Wall" opens.

9. How, in "The Dust," does Léonie's actions foreshadow her eventual life as wife and mother and living at the Martin property?

10. What do you think the wind Léonie feels means?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

There are many statements throughout this novel about church, Jesus, Christianity, and in particular, Mary, the mother of Jesus. Additionally, reference is made about Jews, though the Jewish religion is not mentioned too much. Choose one of the following questions and write a well-developed essay using examples from the book as well as personal experience:

1. Take three characters and trace their references to religion throughout the novel. Evaluate how strongly each character feels about his/her spiritual life and what each believes. Be sure to cite specific examples to support your statements.

2. Compare and contrast the way the main characters and the village people view Christianity versus Judaism and Christians versus Jews. Be sure to cite specific examples to support your statements.

3. Is this novel about religion and spirituality? If references to religious ideas and beliefs were removed, how substantially would the novel be impacted? Discuss using specific examples.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

In Chapter 9, Léonie is fascinated by the family photographs in the main salon. Choose one of the following questions and write a well-developed essay using examples from the book as well as personal experience:

1. Discuss the photographs that are mentioned throughout the novel and what they might imply about the persons in each picture.

2. Write an essay on the history of photography and how it has impacted one particular aspect of modern culture.

3. Why are humans fascinated with producing imagery, especially reproducing exact images of themselves and their environment? Do you think this is a way of obtaining immortality? How do you feel about photography and the pictures you have taken?

(see the answer keys)

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