The Death of the Heart 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 Eddie say to Portia about Anna?

2. What is the reason Thomas gives Anna for why he thinks Portia is upset in part 1, chapter 2?

3. What is the first of Eddie's character flaws to be revealed?

4. How does Major Brutt feel about Anna's marriage to Thomas?

5. What is Portia doing, instead of listening to her teacher?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is contained in the letter Anna writes to Eddie?

2. What does St. Quentin tell Portia about friendship?

3. What does Portia tell Lilian about why she likes Eddie?

4. What attracted Thomas most to Anna?

5. Why doesn't Portia want to write in her diary how she feels about leaving Waikiki?

6. What happens at the movie theater?

7. What happens when Portia comes home early unexpectedly?

8. Why do Anna and Thomas decide to send Matchett to retrieve Portia?

9. What does Portia tell Major Brutt about Anna and Thomas?

10. What does Anna think caused Portia to want not to come home?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Portia has many weaknesses; her insecurity, her eerie silence, et cetera. Choose one of these weaknesses, and examine how it might have contributed to her poor relationship with Eddie. After the relationship with Eddie came to an end, was this facet of her character improved, or worsened? Why? Be sure to cite specific examples from the text to support your thesis.

Essay Topic 2

Bowen ends the novel with a cliffhanger; what will happen to Portia, or any of the other characters never is really established. Why do you think Bowen chose to do so? How satisfying is this ending to the reader? Why? Would you have liked to see a stronger resolution? Why or why not? Be sure to cite specific examples from the text to support your thesis.

Essay Topic 3

An author's own convictions often shine through in his/her work. At what points in the novel do you think Bowen is voicing her own opinions? How does she accomplish this? How effective is she in masking her own feelings with the voices of her characters? Be sure to cite specific examples from the text to support your thesis.

(see the answer keys)

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