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. Why is Lily Bart waiting for a train when she is first introduced in the book?

2. Who is Mrs. Judy Trenor?

3. What does nouveau riche mean?

4. In book 1, chapter 12, why does Lawrence Selden congratulate Lily after her participation in the party entertainment ?

5. What problem might Lily have as shown by the results of her activities the first night of the party?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Lawrence Selden's background.

2. In book 2, chapter 7, what is Simon Rosedale's explanation to Lily for his refusal to marry her?

3. In book 1, chapter 4, what is the warning Mrs. Trenor gives to Lily?

4. Why does Lily turn down Carry Fischer's offer to care for the Welly Brys?

5. Why does Mrs. Haffen, Lawrence Selden's cleaning lady, think that Lily would want the letters she found while cleaning Lawrence Selden's apartment?

6. In book 2, chapter 11, what does Lily decide to do when she wakes up the morning after Simon Rosedale makes his offer to her?

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

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

9. Explain the attitudes of Lily's family members in relation to her social standing and inheritance from her aunt.

10. Summarize Lily's family history.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Several components of quality literature include:

1) use of descriptive words

2) use of analogies, metaphors, and similes

3) an attention-grabbing beginning

4) details

5) appealing to the five senses

Is The House of Mirth is an example of quality literature? Why or why not? Give examples from the story using three of the five components of quality literature to explain your answer.

Essay Topic 3

List the main events from The House of Mirth. Could you change the order of the main events or leave out any main events? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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