The House of Mirth 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 do Lily and Lawrence Selden discover as they walk together on Sunday afternoon?

2. How does the situation at the place where Lily goes after her cousin's wedding affect her mood?

3. How does Lily acquire letters found by Mrs. Haffen, Lawrence Selden's cleaning lady?

4. In book 1, chapter 6, how is Lily able to spend Sunday afternoon with Lawrence Selden rather than Percy Gryce?

5. What is Lily's plan for Percy Gryce whom she meets while on the train to Bellomont?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Gerty Farish advise Lily to do regarding the situation in Monte Carlo?

2. What does Lawrence Selden realize about his relationship with Lily after he finds she has died?

3. In book 1, chapter 8, how does Lily describe Gerty Farish?

4. Describe the steps Lily uses in book 1, chapter 2, to attract the attention of Percy Gryce while on the train to the party at Bellomont.

5. In book 1, chapter 1, what is the reason for Lily's reaction to Lawrence Selden's suggestion that they have tea at the popular cafe as Lily waits for her train?

6. In book 1, chapter 10, why does Lily continue her arrangement with Gus Trenor?

7. What is Lily's goal in life?

8. In book 1, chapter 12, what is the status of the relationship between Lily and Lawrence Selden?

9. What example of racism does Lily demonstrate in book 1, chapter 2?

10. In book 1, chapter 11, what does Lily's aunt do after Grace Stepney talks to her about Lily?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Answer all parts.

Why did Edith Wharton choose The House of Mirth for the title of the novel?

1) Give examples from the book that explain the title.

2) Do you think the title fits the book? Why or why not?

3) If you could give the book a different title, what would it be? Give reasons for your answer.

Essay Topic 2

What are the causes of Lily Bart's ultimate downfall? Which causes are external? Which causes are internal? Which cause had the greatest influence on Lily's downfall? Why? Was this cause an external or an internal cause?

Essay Topic 3

In The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton criticizes the relationships women have with each other because they are competitive and mean. Choose a relationship between two women in The House of Mirth that best exemplifies the competitive and mean spirit criticized by the author. Explain why you chose this particular relationship.

(see the answer keys)

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