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 is Gerty's financial situation at the beginning of the story?

2. What is Carry Fischer's job?

3. Why is Grace Stepney angry about the party?

4. In book 1, chapter 8, what does Gus Trenor do with Lily's money?

5. When Lily arrives at the Trenor house, what does Gus Trenor first tell Lily about Mrs. Trenor?

Short Essay Questions

1. At lunch in Monte Carlo, Carry Fischer tells Lawrence Selden that a prince was about to propose to Lily, and then Lily started flirting with his stepson. What incident from book 1 is this situation similar to regarding Lawrence Selden?

2. Why does Lily believe it would be better to marry Simon Rosedale instead of George Dorset?

3. Even though Lily is in love with Lawrence Selden,why does she fight her feelings for him?

4. Why doesn't Lily use the letters she acquired from Mrs. Haffen to get back at Bertha Dorset?

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

6. In book 1, chapter 11, what does Grace Stepney tell her aunt about Lily?

7. Summarize Lily's family history.

8. In book 2, chapter 8, what is the status of Lily's relationship with Gerty Farish?

9. In book 2, chapter 9, how does Lawrence Selden react when Lily reprimands him for not visiting her sooner than he did?

10. In book 2, chapter 10, what is Lily's outlook on life now that she no longer has her social status?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explain the following statement: The only difference between a falsehood and a truth is whom people choose to believe.

1) Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?

2) Give examples from The House of Mirth that prove or disprove this statement.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Lily had relationships with many characters, both male and female, throughout The House of Mirth. Choose one of Lily's relationships with a male character and one relationship with a female character and explain how each of these relationships changes as the story progresses.

(see the answer keys)

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