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. Why are people seeking pleasure?

2. What is Rieux's attitude to religion and God?

3. What is the Spaniard's medical condition?

4. In what country is the story set?

5. Who comes with M. Joseph Grand to see Dr Rieux?

Short Essay Questions

1. What changes does the plague seem to be undergoing?

2. What does Tarrou record about M. Othon?

3. In what way do you think Tarrou and Rieux are of like mind?

4. What sort of man was Jean Tarrou's father?

5. Which characters now volunteer as plague workers?

6. What does Dr. Rieux muse about in Part 1 Chapter 5?

7. What factors are making life stressful for Dr. Rieux?

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

9. How is it possible for Cottard to help Rambert?

10. Has Cottard really gained from his profiteering during the plague?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Compare and contrast the characters of Tarrou, Grand and Cottard. In what ways do these characters develop during the course of the novel? In what ways are their stories resolved?

Essay Topic 2

Throughout the novel, Dr. Rieux has had to deal with scarcely imaginable tragedy in the wider community. At the very end, when he reasonably expected to return to a normal life, he is hit with personal trady in the deaths of his friend Tarrou and then of his beloved wife. Why is Rieux able to survive all this? What ideas and attitudes does the character of Dr. Rieux symbolise? What does he show to us about the human spirit? Write a thoughtful, detailed essay drawing on the novel as a whole.

Essay Topic 3

Some people are of the opinion that the twentieth century produced no greater novel than The Plague. Why do you think people have said this? In your answer, deal with themes and characters.

(see the answer keys)

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