The Importance of Being Earnest 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. Who is Cecily's governess?

2. What type of sandwich does Algernon take from Lane?

3. When does Jack take the name of Ernest?

4. What is Algernon enjoying at the end of the Act?

5. What relation is not popular at the present time?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Jack Worthing's business in London?

2. What argument does Chasuble make to justify asking Miss Prism to marry him?

3. What orders does Algernon give Lane at the end of the First Act?

4. How is it that Jack does not know who his parents are?

5. What does Jack mean by his final statement about knowing the vital importance of being earnest?

6. How does Cecily get rid of Miss Prism at the the beginning of Act 2?

7. Do Cecily and Gwendolen believe the men's reasons for deception?

8. Why is Cecily always distracted from her lessons?

9. What is Lady Bracknell's response to the story of Jack's adoption?

10. What news does Jack bring with him when he returns home from London.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write about Lady Bracknell as the driving force in the play. Cite three examples of moments where she is the sole arbiter of the another character's fate. How is the climax a result of her machinations?

Essay Topic 2

Choose one of the following options to write about:

1.) What does Algernon's habit of always eating say about him as a character? Write about three examples in the play where Algernon is forced to explain his appetite and how he does so.

2.) Cecily and Miss Prism's argument about her diary and the three-volume novel say much about both. What secrets does this conversation allude to, and how does it frame each one's attitude toward literature and love?

3.) Chasuble is constantly quoting - and misquoting - religious sources and tenets. How does his level of comfort with his chosen profession help or hinder his decision regarding Miss Prism at the end of the play?

Essay Topic 3

Choose one of the following topics to write about:

1.) What aspects of a person are important to a courtship according to Cecily? How do these differ from those of Lady Bracknell?

2.) What is Algernon's stated stance on romance and marriage in Act 1? Why do you think he decides to propose to Cecily in spite of this position? Cite statements made by Algernon later to justify your argument.

3.) Gwendolen's statement about always wanting to marry a man named Ernest is absurd, but her reasons for liking the name are indicative of a desire everyone has when getting married. What are her reasons for liking the name and how do they indicate a universal desire of humankind?

(see the answer keys)

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