Tales of Henry James: The Texts of the Stories, the Author on His Craft, Background and Criticism 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. James' critical language come from ___________.

2. What did the old superstition say about fiction?

3. Where do the main character and Captain Everard run into each other?

4. What has Dencombe just received as 'The Middle Years' opens?

5. How does James describe the Countess?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does James address the superstition that fiction is diabolical?

2. What happens in the affair between Lady Bradeen and Captain Everard?

3. What is the significance of the title of this story?

4. Describe Dencombe's feelings about his own work.

5. Describe Marcher's lifestyle.

6. What is the tragedy of 'The Middle Years'?

7. What is the significance of the title?

8. What effect does the affair of Lady Bradeen and Captain Everard have on the telegraph operator?

9. Where had John Marcher and May Bartram met previously, and what had happened then?

10. What does Marcher realize when May Bartram dies?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe Henry James' feelings about the friendship and possible homosexual relationship between men. How does he characterize this relationship, and what is its status compared with other kinds of relationships and friendships?

Essay Topic 2

Analyze the critical commentary for one of the stories. Which commentator seems to provide the most helpful insight into the story? How do you explain the other commentators' interest? What remains to be explained after these different commentaries?

Essay Topic 3

James is occasionally very specific about the season in which his stories are set. What is the literal or symbolic importance of the seasons and nature in James' stories?

(see the answer keys)

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