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. Why does Mrs. Heccomb make Portia nervous?

2. What does Thomas think of Anna's idea that Portia is unnerving when she stares at them?

3. Why did Denis ask Anna to check up on Eddie?

4. Who is Portia?

5. What does Eddie tell Portia is important to him?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is contained in the first three letters Portia receives from London?

2. Why does Dickie ask Portia to dance at the party?

3. Why is Anna upset that Portia is missing her mother?

4. Why is Mrs. Heccomb looking forward to Eddie's visit?

5. What does Thomas notice about Portia and Eddie?

6. How does Daphne greet Portia?

7. How does Thomas feel about Portia?

8. What happens when Portia comes home early unexpectedly?

9. How does Thomas react to Portia visiting him in his study?

10. What happens at the movie theater?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

It is St. Quentin's words about trust and honor that lead to the conversation which results, ultimately, in the end of Portia and Eddie's relationship. Why might St. Quentin's words have bothered her so much, when none of the other warnings she received had the same effect? Do you think that earlier in the novel, before all of the problems that Portia and Eddie had, that his words would have had the same effect on her? Why or why not? 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

The end of the novel mirrors the beginning; the same characters, and the same dilemmas, but so much has changed. What is different? Why do you think Bowen chose to do this? What significance does it have in terms of the novel as a whole? What message does it send the reader? Do you think Portia's problems will also be cyclical, despite the progress she has made? Be sure to cite specific examples from the text to support your thesis.

(see the answer keys)

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