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. When do Léonie and Thérèse meet?

2. After Madeleine defends Léonie, how does Antoinette act?

3. Who does Léonie believe stole her soul?

4. What does the specialist say about Antoinette's breast cancer?

5. Who relishes her breakfast the next morning though Louis and Thérèse refuse to eat?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What about her mother's impending death seems to be of greatest concern to Thérèse in the chapter "The Statue of the Virgin"?

4. In the previous chapter, the reader notices that Léonie embraces physicality as seen by her fascination with defecation; in the chapter, "The Frying Pan," what does it seem that Thérèse embraces?

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

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

7. What hint is there in the chapter, "The Cellar Key," that something about the cellar upsets Antoinette?

8. What might the lava image which Thérèse images in "The Rosary," mean to Thérèse?

9. In the chapter, "The Silver Cake Tray," what do you think is the significance of the shrine?

10. In "The Writing Table," what is Léonie doing on the advice of her lawyer and why?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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

The two main characters, Léonie and Thérèse, are cousins (or perhaps sisters), though, they are in some ways mirror opposites of each other...or are they. Answer the following questions in a well-developed essay using examples from the book as well as personal experience:

1. In what ways are Léonie and Thérèse complete opposites; give several examples and explain your choices.

2. In what ways are Léonie and Thérèse similar; give several examples and explain your choices.

3. Which cousin seems to be more "real"? Why?

(see the answer keys)

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