Life in the Iron Mills, and Other Stories 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. Deborah tells Hugh when she brings him food at work that she fears the ale is a bit what, in “Life in the Iron Mills”?

2. What word does the narrator use to describe Hugh Wolfe’s infancy in “Life in the Iron Mills”?

3. What is the name of Rebecca Harding Davis’s eldest son who became a writer and journalist?

4. The narrator compares the “wild, eager face” of the sculpture in “Life in the Iron Mills” to what?

5. What is the name of the overseer that comes with the visiting men to the mill in “Life in the Iron Mills”?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did the outbreak of the Civil War impact Rebecca Harding Davis’s work, according to the author of “A Biographical Interpretation”?

2. How does the narrator describe Hugh’s interaction with Deborah when she brings him dinner at the mill in “Life in the Iron Mills”?

3. What is Deb doing when her character is first introduced in “Life in the Iron Mills”?

4. What does the korl woman in “Life in the Iron Mills” represent symbolically?

5. How would you describe the author’s use of dialogue in “Life in the Iron Mills”?

6. What kind of education did Rebecca Harding Davis receive, according to the author of “A Biographical Interpretation”?

7. How does the author of “A Biographical Interpretation” describe Rebecca Harding Davis’s early years of marriage?

8. What are the impressions of the visitors when they see the sculpture in “Life in the Iron Mills”?

9. Who did Rebecca Harding Davis meet on her first trip North, according to the author of “A Biographical Interpretation”?

10. How would you describe the narrator of “Life in the Iron Mills”? Is the narrator involved in the action of the story?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the character of Hester Manning in “The Wife’s Story.” About how old do you imagine Hester to be? How does Hester describe her childhood and her relationship to her family? How does Hester feel about her husband and stepchildren?

Essay Topic 2

Describe and discuss the three named characters that visit the mill in the story (Kirby, Mitchell, and Dr. May). What do these characters have in common? How do they differ? In what ways do these characters drive the plot forward?

Essay Topic 3

Describe and discuss author Tillie Olsen and the republication of Life in the Iron Mills and Other Stories. What are the objectives of the Feminist Press? Why did they feel Rebecca Harding Davis’s stories should be republished? What drew Olsen to the works?

(see the answer keys)

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