The Plague 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. In what city is the story set?

2. What is one aspect of the plague that Dr Rieux considers?

3. How do people express their feelings after the sermon?

4. An unusual thing about the city is that:

5. How do the people of Oran react to the sermon at High Mass?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Fr. Paneloux tell the people in his sermon at High Mass?

2. What is the popular mood as described in Part 2 Chapter 5?

3. Explain the poignancy of Dr. Rieux's walk through the streets.

4. Comment on the 'reality' behind the phenomenon of the Oran people, now free of the plague, walking the streets.

5. What choice does Rambert make in Part 4 Chapter 2?

6. Why is Mme. Rieux concerned about her son?

7. What is Dr. Rieux worried about in Chapter 2?

8. What is the problem about the announcements being made about the disease?

9. Explain the nature of the irony in the beginning of Part 5 Chapter 3.

10. Account for the difference tenor and content of Fr Paneloux's new sermon, compared with that he gave at the conclusion of the Week of Prayer.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

'The Plague shows us love, loyalty and heroic selflessness.' Discuss with close reference to three characters.

Essay Topic 2

The Plague includes conflict between certain ideologies and world views. For example, between those who do not believe in Christianity (like Dr. Rieux) and those who do. There is also action that represents the conflict between the interests of the individual and those of society. Select an area of ideological conflict that interests you and discuss the way this is represented in The Plague. Is the conflict resolved?

Essay Topic 3

The blurb on the cover of the Penguin Edition of The Plague (c. 1969) says that the novel 'expresses most clearly the author's basic humanitarianism'. In a detailed essay, account for this point of view.

(see the answer keys)

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