Swordspoint: A Novel Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Ellen Kushner
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 121 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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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 Richard go up to the Hill at the beginning of Chapter 5?

2. When Basil, Lord Ferris, and Lord Horn ask Katherine about the life of a swordsman, what does she do?

3. What group begins a revolt?

4. What is Lord Horn's position on swordsmen's right to refuse a job?

5. What does the Duchess give to the man Michael believes she is having an affair with?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why are Lady Mary Halliday and Duchess Tremontaine annoyed when Lady Godwin and her son arrive?

2. Who do Richard and Alec meet as they watch the party, and what does this person tell Richard?

3. What happens when Alec wakes Richard during the night, after Richard's meeting with Katherine?

4. What explanation does Lord Ferris give Katherine for asking her to stay with himself, Lord Horn, and Basil?

5. What does Richard say after he kills Brent?

6. Why is it ill-advised for Lord Horn to send the letter he sends to Richard?

7. How does Richard describe his relationship with Alec to Katherine?

8. What is Michael's relationship with Vincent Applethorpe?

9. Who does Richard tell Ginnie to thank, and why?

10. Why is the idea of becoming a swordsman a joke for Michael?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

One of the primary thematic ideas in the novel is social class. Discuss social class in the novel.

1) What are the social classes in the novel, and what defines them? How does society treat the members of different social classes?

2) How do the characters in the novel fit into their social classes, and what dissatisfies characters about their social classes?

3) How do the different social classes interact with each other and affect each other?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss fairness and equity in the book.

1) How are sword fights in the novel fair or unfair? How do the participants and audience benefit and suffer from them?

2) How are punishments meted out in the novel to the lower class and upper class? What roles do fairness and equity play in punishment and law?

3) What is fair or unfair about how Alec lures swordsmen to attack him and be killed? How does this relate to the class rules of the society?

Essay Topic 3

The main characters of the novel are gay lovers. Discuss gender and sex in the novel.

1) How does the society of the novel view bisexuality and homosexuality? Are Alec and Richard accepted as lovers? Why or why not?

2) How do the different classes of the society view sex differently? How do they view promiscuity as well as homosexuality?

3) What role does the fact that Alec and Richard are the same gender play in the novel? Does it make a difference?

(see the answer keys)

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