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

2. What happens to what the girls bring up from the cellar?

3. What does Léonie do after Louis leaves the bathroom?

4. The novel begins with the description of what?

5. How do the girls "doctor" each other?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. In "The Cake Tin," what can be implied about Victorine's attitudes towards Jews?

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

5. In the chapter, "The Dustpan," what is Thérèse's "public" version of why she broke the Quimper dish and what is evident later as to why she breaks it?

6. Who is Thérèse manipulating in the chapter, "The Dust," and why do you think she does this?

7. Describe Thérèse's first tour of the house as shown in "The Buffet." What is ironic about one of her thoughts?

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

9. What in the chapter, "The Recipe Book," suggests that prejudice still exists against the Jews?

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

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

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

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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