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. Whom did the hostess of the party promise Mrs. George Dorset would be at the party?

2. Who is Mrs. Judy Trenor?

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

4. How does Lily feel when she sees Lawrence Selden at her cousin's wedding?

5. Why is Lily angry with herself following the meeting with Simon Rosedale as she was leaving Lawrence Selden's apartment building?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Gerty Farish think will happen between her and Lawrence Selden because of their friendship for Lily?

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

3. In book 1, chapter 13, how does Lily feel when Gus Trenor reveals his true intentions toward her?

4. 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?

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

6. In book 1, chapter 10, why does Lily donate money to the charity Gerty Farish tells her about?

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

8. What three options does Lily have regarding her debt to Gus Trenor?

9. In book 2, chapter 11, what does Lily realize about herself based on Simon Rosedale's love for her?

10. What does Lily believe Gerty Farish will provide for her when she goes to Gerty's apartment after she argues with Gus Trenor?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explain why The House of Mirth is called "a novel of manners." Give examples from the story.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

At the end of The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton leaves the cause of Lily's death, accidental overdose, or suicide, unresolved in the reader's mind. Which cause of death do you believe the author was hinting at? Why? What clues does the author give that shows she is hinting at the answer to Lily's death?

(see the answer keys)

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