Sense and Sensibility 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 does Elinor wonder if Marianne and Willoughby will be able to sustain a conversation?

2. Which of the daughters is described as having "strength and understanding"?

3. What does Mrs Jennings think the Colonel is left town for?

4. Why is Lucy concerned about her engagement to Edward?

5. What does Marianne do at the party?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why do you think that at this point in the story, Austen has given the reader a lot more information about Colonel Brandon than about Willoughby?

2. Is it important that Mr. and Mrs. Palmer are opposites?

3. Why do you think Edward never approaches the subject of why he is so upset?

4. Outline what you think are Elinor's main characteristics.

5. Why, if Elinor is so independent thinking and the one person in the family with sense, does she write to her mother for advice?

6. Is Elinor a better match for Edward than Lucy?

7. Why do you think Austen presents Sir John and his wife as nice people, but overall overbred simpletons?

8. How is Willoughby's letter symbolize his manipulative nature?

9. What does Sir John's character say about eighteenth century upper class?

10. Is Mrs. Jennings merely a gossip, or does she genuinely care about people?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Austen was an unmarried daughter of a rector. With this in mind and anything else you know about Austen's life, which character resembles Austen the most?

1) Does she use that character to give her opinions of eighteenth century society?

2) Which characters do you think Austen shows less appreciation for? How do these characters differ from the main character?

Essay Topic 2

Look at the structure of the novel.

1) How does Austen 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 characters Marianne and Elinor, examine the way Austen uses him or her in the story. Does she use him or her for dramatic effect or comic aside? When does she introduce and take them away from the story? What effect does it have on the story?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss whether you think the Colonel is a good match for Marianne. Is he a direct replacement for her sister? Do you think the match is more for the sake of Elinor than Marianne? If so, how much does Elinor's practicality oppress her sister's spontaneity?

(see the answer keys)

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