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. What is the only thing that allows Algernon to put up with his relatives?

2. On what topic does Gwendolyn ask Jack to refrain from speaking?

3. What political affiliation does Jack claim?

4. According to Lady Bracknell, how with Gwendolyn know when she is engaged?

5. How many of the cucumber sandwiches does Algernon eat?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is Algernon's stated opinion of love and marriage in Act I?

3. How did Cecily become Jack's ward?

4. Describe Algernon and Jack's conversation concerning Cecily and Gwendolen.

5. Why does Jack intend to "kill" Ernest?

6. Why doe Jack go by the name of Ernest in London?

7. Name a few of Lady Bracknell's requirements for a suitable bachelor.

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

9. What clandestine declaration does Gwendolen make to Jack before she leaves?

10. Why do Algernon and Jack have such difficulty choosing a place to have dinner?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Like many English comedic plays, the Importance of Being Ernest ends with three marriages:

Part 1.) How are Jack's and Algernon's betrothal inextricable linked, both as impediments to each other and later as facilitators?

Part 2.) What obstacles do Miss Prism and Chasuble face in their courtship? What would have happened had they not wed?

Part 3.) Which of the three engagements suffered most before becoming secure? Which marriage do you think will be strongest? Cite examples from the text to justify your position.

Essay Topic 2

Choose one of the following to write about:

1.) What do you think is Oscar Wilde's opinion of the English upper class? Do you consider his portraits of landed English gentry is loving or caustic? Cite examples from the text.

2.) Compare, in three paragraphs, three servant characters and three aristocrats in the play. Which are the more clever and worldly? How much do the upper class characters rely on the servants?

3.) Do you think there is greater personal freedom in being part of the servant class in the Victorian era or being in the Upper class. Cite examples from the text and historical background to justify your stance.

Essay Topic 3

Choose one of the following three options to write about:

1.) To what extent has Cecily always been at the beck and call of authority figures fro Thomas Cardew to Miss Prism. Write three paragraphs about her subjugation to three separate masters and how her diary undermines this control.

2.) Do you think that Gwendolen is an inherently rebellious character or a generally subservient character that acts against her nature in the story? Cite examples from the text to defend your answer.

3.) What is Miss Prism's motivation in the play? What is she running from and why has she decided that she will not marry?

(see the answer keys)

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