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. Who watches Léonie as she drags the suitcase back and forth in her nightmare?

2. Who cares for Thérèse the first year and a half of her life?

3. What does Léonie enjoy?

4. How does Thérèse feel in her clothes?

5. What happens after Thérèse settles in to her new home?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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"?

2. What rather strange and perhaps a bit disturbing fact is revealed about Léonie in this chapter?

3. What is foreshadowed in the chapter "The Baby Book"?

4. In "The Gray Silk Nightshirt," as the two women sit and chat in Thérèse's room, what is revealed overtly or implied about their relationship and each woman as individuals?

5. How do the two bakeries mentioned in "The Bread Basket" represent the same situation as that of Léonie and Thérèse?

6. What clues in the chapter "The Biscuit Tin" suggest that Thérèse is a product of Antoinette being raped by a German Nazi soldier?

7. What is the memory that Léonie intuits?

8. In the chapter, "The Coffee Bowls," how do you think Léonie is symbolically similar to the house?

9. Describe Thérèse's dream of Antoinette.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Most novels have several themes, one or two main themes and one or more minor themes. Choose one of the following questions and write a well-developed essay using examples from the book as well as personal experience:

1. Discuss one of what you believe to be a major theme. Give specific examples of how the theme is illustrated and why you think it is a major theme.

2. Discuss two minor themes of the novel. Give specific examples of how the themes are illustrated and why you choose those themes.

3. Briefly define several themes of the novel and show how they are interrelated, using examples from the book.

Essay Topic 2

In Chapter 15, we learn that the wood floors of the house are marked by the German soldiers' boots, and the original red tiles are permanently ruined, and Antoinette has had carpet put down to cover these marks. Answer the following questions in a well-developed essay using examples from the book as well as personal experience:

1. How are the floors symbolic of psychological scars and whose scars? Give details and examples.

2. There seems to be a general conspiracy to cover wounds of the past in this story. Who decides to figuratively pull the rugs out from under everyone's feet and reveal what is under them and why does she decide to do so?

3. Do you think it is healthy to "cover up" past scars so that one does not have to think about them? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

Though this novel contains a complex interrelationship of themes, characters, and imagery, each character, even those not born at the time, is affected by the occupation of the Nazis and their execution of the Jewish family which Henri and Rose shelters. Choose one of the following questions and write a well-developed essay using examples from the book as well as personal experience:

1. Trace how Antoinette has been affected by the Nazi occupation of the Martin house and the village. Give examples and discuss what you think actually happened to Antoinette down in the cellar and how that informs the rest of Antoinette's life.

2. After doing some research, discuss how the country of France in general reacts to the Nazi persecution of Jews of French citizenship. Give examples and relate your research to what happens in this novel.

3. Discuss why you think Léonie chooses to reveal what she knows about the events during the Nazi occupation. Is there any reason for going back to the past and trying to place blame? Should anything happen to the informant this long after the actual event? What do you think should be done?

(see the answer keys)

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