The Importance of Being Earnest Test | Final 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 Cecily's constant distraction?

2. What does Cecily do with the scissors?

3. According to Grigsby, who generally pays outstanding debts for the debtor?

4. Why was Miss Prism's novel never published?

5. What, according to Miss Prism, does Socialism lead to?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What changes in Ernest's behavior does Algernon announce when he arrives at Jack's country house?

3. What reason does Miss Prism give for not wanting Ernest to be saved from his vices?

4. When Algernon arrives under the guise Ernest, what does Cecily tell him about Jack's plans?

5. What argument does Jack make to Algernon about eating in times of despair, and why at the end of Act II?

6. What is Cecily's response to Algernon's proposal to her?

7. How does Algernon end up paying for Jack's debt in Act II?

8. After the two women storm off, what is Algernon's attitude?

9. Why does Gwendolen state that she wishes Cecily were older?

10. How does Cecily get rid of Miss Prism at the the beginning of Act II?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Now does Jack's last line about "the vital importance of being earnest" reflect a possible lesson he has learned. Use Jack's character arc over the course of the play and the reason for his final salvation as evidence to support your argument.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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