Human Croquet 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 Isobel find when searching Vinny's wardrobe?

2. What is Mr. Baxter's position?

3. What happens in 1605 at the Fairfax manor?

4. What does Eliza do when she goes into labor with Isobel?

5. What does Charles give Gordon?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Isobel find at the back door when she and Isobel are home alone?

2. How do Isobel and Charles find their mother and what do they do?

3. What do the neighbors think of the new baby in the Fairfax household?

4. Where does Malcolm take Isobel, and what happens there?

5. Describe how Charles and Isobel are born.

6. What leads to Isobel's house being infested with fleas?

7. What are the signs that Vinny is a poor caregiver for the children?

8. Who is Audrey, and how does her father treat her?

9. What does Isobel think she sees Mr. Rice doing and what is the outcome?

10. How do Charlotte and Vinny treat Eliza and what is her response?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze the theme of growth in "Human Croquet". Consider the following questions as you write: What characters are most concerned with growth? Why? What are some symbols of growth? Symbols of rigidity? What characters seem rigid?

2. Trace and analyze the theme of individual freedom in the story. Which characters struggle with this issue? Why? Which characters seem to possess individual freedom? Why? Why is individual freedom more difficult to obtain for some characters than other ones?

3. Trace and analyze the theme of abuse in "Human Croquet". Which characters are abusive to others, either physically, sexually or emotionally? Which are being abused? What is the response to the abuse of the ones being abused? Why do you think each of the abusers do so?

Essay Topic 2

Characters are an integral and important part of almost all novels. Discuss the following:

1. Compare/contrast the characters of Isobel from the beginning of the book to who she is at the end of the book. How are they similar? How are they different? Which "character" do you like more? Be specific and give examples.

2. Compare/contrast the characters of Isobel and Charles. How do they seem different? How are they alike? Which do you like more? Why? Which one seems more of a well-rounded character?

3. Thoroughly analyze how three of the secondary characters in "Human Croquet" help drive the plot and what their contribution is to the storyline. Are any of the secondary characters unnecessary? Indispensable? Which of the secondary characters are likable? Which are either unlikable or even despicable? Be specific and give examples.

Essay Topic 3

Many readers of fiction place themselves in the position of one character, wondering if they would do the same thing as that character. Discuss the following:

1. Do you think one of the values of literature is to serve as a reflection of oneself? Why or why not?

2. Socrates said "Know thyself." How can reading a book such as "Human Croquet" help a reader to know him/herself? Do you find yourself reflecting on your own character and abilities when reading "Human Croquet"? Why or why not.

3. Choose one specific incident in the book to discuss and compare Isobel's response to that of two other characters, and to how you think you would respond.

(see the answer keys)

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