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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. Where do Betsy Goodman, Mary Nell Fickett, and Lisa Shilling first meet for an impromptu group therapy session?
2. The novel is set in what U.S. State?
3. The narrator states that Lisa Shilling's oldest friend is...
4. Which character begins the novel with a goal to be the first woman justice on the Supreme Court and ends the novel contemplating a career in psychology?
5. The first person to suspect that perhaps Lisa Shilling did have a mental illness was...
Short Essay Questions
1. Why does Betsy Goodman self-describe as the least important person in the narrative?
2. Why is Betsy Goodman the youngest of the major protagonists?
3. Mental illness aside, how typical are the four main protagonists of the novel?
4. In what is Mr. Shilling primarily interested?
5. What kind of a job does Mr. Goodman do as an insurance salesman?
6. Describe the family situation of the four main characters.
7. Who is the narrator in chapter one?
8. Describe Mary Nell Fickett's and Besty Goodman's initial attempts to secure professional help for their friend Lisa Shilling.
9. Why does Lisa Shilling believe that she is suffering form mental illness?
10. Why does the narrator spend so much time establishing which protagonist is better looking, which is more intelligent, and which is from a wealthier family?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
Of the four primary mothers in the novel--Mrs. Shilling, Mrs. Goodman, Mrs. Fickett, and Mrs. Frazer--who would you least like to have as a mother? Why?
Essay Topic 2
Describe the family dynamics of the Shilling family. What do the parents spend their time doing? What do the children spend their time doing? Who talks to whom? Also, who doesn't communicate?
Essay Topic 3
Assume that the basis of all criticism is the reader's response to the text. Without focusing on a critical theory, describe your reaction to the text. Did you like the book? Why or why not? What aspects (if any) of the novel did you particularly like, and why? What aspects (if any) did you particularly dislike, and why?
This section contains 1,107 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)