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 does Lily intend to do with the letters she acquired from Mrs. Haffen, Lawrence Selden's cleaning lady?

2. What does Grace Stepney do in Lily's absence?

3. Why is Lily envious of Mrs. Bertha Dorset's flirting with Percy Gryce at the party?

4. What does Lily want from Lawrence at the beginning of the story?

5. In book 1, chapter 9, where does Lily go after her cousin's wedding ?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are Nettie Struther's feelings toward Lily?

2. In book 2, chapter 5, why does Lily think Simon Rosedale will marry her for love?

3. In book 1, chapter 1, why is Lawrence Selden surprised that Lily accepts his offer to have tea alone with him in his apartment?

4. In book 1, chapter 7, what does Bertha Dorset do to get back at Lily for spending Sunday afternoon with Lawrence Selden?

5. Describe Lily's new social circle, introduced to her by Carry Fischer in book 2, chapter 5.

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

7. In book 1, chapter 15, what does Lily realize regarding her debt to Gus Trenor?

8. After Bertha has betrays Lily, how does Lawrence Selden feel toward Lily?

9. How does Lily deceive herself regarding her motives toward Percy Gryce and Lawrence Selden?

10. In book 1, chapter 6, what does Lawrence Selden warn Lily about regarding her goals?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The author uses foreshadowing throughout The House of Mirth. Give three examples of what you think are the most effective uses of foreshadowing in the story, and why you think these examples are the most effective. Include in your answer what these events foreshadow.

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 comments on high society and the roles of women in society at the time in which The House of Mirth was written. Choose either the author's comments on high society or the author's comments on women's roles in society at the time. Include in your answer what you believe her opinion is, and why. What is the tone of these comments? What makes you think so? Give examples from the story to explain your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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