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 is Léonie afraid of being alone in the room where she is sleeping?

2. How long has it been since Thérèse had left the monastery?

3. What does Thérèse do when her mother takes her home at a year and a half?

4. Who was willing to take on a German officer as a lover?

5. With what is Léonie fascinated?

Short Essay Questions

1. In the chapter, "The Quimper Dish, what do you think is the reason behind Thérèse's sudden "illness"?

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. What story does Léonie tell Baptiste and what is his response?

4. How does the theme of social class appear in the chapter "The Sack"?

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

6. How do you think the reaction of Antoinette in the chapter "The Sofa," is related to her reaction to Léonie's previous venture to the cellar in "The Cellar Key"?

7. In an agreement to exchange secrets, Thérèse allows Léonie to read one of Thérèse's letters from Antoinette to her older sister in the convent. Do you think Thérèse is actually revealing a secret?

8. How do Therèse's actions in this chapter, "The Fish Kettle," foreshadow her decision to become a nun?

9. How is the occupation of the Germans described in "The Carpets"?

10. In the chapter, "The Oranges," what problem do you think Léonie is really trying to resolve when she is juggling the oranges or thinking of the magpies?

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

Dreams are detailed in several chapters of this work; two particularly long ones are in chapter 1 and chapter 47. Answer the following questions in a well-developed essay using examples from the book as well as personal experience:

1. Describe several symbols in the dreams and their meaning.

2. What do you think is the purpose of using dreams in this novel?

3. How effective are the dreams at explaining the interior landscape of Thérèse and Léonie, since each character dreams one of the two significant dreams.

4. Do you find that dreams contribute to the meaning of this work? What about other literature or film that has one or more dream scenes?

Essay Topic 3

Chapters 30 and 31 are related in that their titles are things to do with the daily household chores of the Martin farm. . Answer the following questions in a well-developed essay using examples from the book as well as personal experience:

1. How do the household chores as represented by the Quimper dish and dustpan symbolically relate to the power struggle between Léonie and Thérèse? Give specific details/examples.

2. Why do you think Madeleine makes Victorine pick up the sharp pieces of the broken Quimper dish with her fingers rather than the dustpan? How does this represent power?

3. These two chapters seem to "seal" the fate of the two girls in pushing Léonie towards a life in the physical/earthly world and Thérèse towards a life in the spiritual world. Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not? Give specific examples to explain your view.

(see the answer keys)

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