The Razor's Edge 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. During what time of year does Maugham go to the Riviera?

2. For what does Mr. Achilles marry his previous wife?

3. To what city is Larry taking a ship?

4. Who does Maugham meet at the play?

5. How many years have Gray and Isabel spent in Paris?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Isabel react to Sophie's disappearance?

2. How does the reader know that Isabel is still in love with Larry?

3. How does Maugham obtain an invitation?

4. What does Elliot leave to the main characters in his will?

5. In what way does Maugham criticize the church?

6. In what way has Elliot changed from the last time Maugham saw him?

7. Why does Isabel leave the vodka to tempt Sophie?

8. What does Larry learn about evil in India?

9. In what way does Sophie embody the book's theme of good and evil?

10. Explain what Larry sees and feels when he experiences the Absolute?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss Maugham's life. In what way do you think his life and personality are reflected in the book?

Essay Topic 2

In 1984, The Razor's Edge was made into a famous film noir film starring Bill Murray. Why do you think the themes and ideas in the book were still relevant forty years later? Do you think the ideas are timeless and universal? Why do you think, in the film, Larry went to Tibet and not India?

Essay Topic 3

Look at the structure of the novel.

1) How does Maugham use character and dialogue to drive the narrative.

2) Discuss elements of the narrative structure: exposition, conflict, complication, climax, resolution and conclusion. Do all the elements make for a logical and linear story? How does the story's structure express the novel's themes?

3) Away from the main character, Larry, examine the way Maugham uses the other characters in the story. When does he introduce and take them away from the story? What effect does it have on the story?

(see the answer keys)

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