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. What disappointing news does the main character find out about Captain Everard?

2. What do Dencombe and Dr. Hugh assume about each other before they have met?

3. What does May Bartram tell John Marcher about his secret?

4. Who is the main character?

5. What happens to Lady Bradeen's husband after he discovers his wife's affair?

Short Essay Questions

1. What part does the telegraph operator play in the affair between Lady Bradeen and Captain Everard?

2. What does Dencombe realize in the end of 'The Middle Years'?

3. What rules does James lay out for writing?

4. What happens to bring May Bartram and John Marcher into closer friendship?

5. What is the irony in the secret Marcher has been keeping all these years?

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

7. What is the difference between the doctor's relationship with Dencombe and his relationship with the Countess?

8. What did James study before he took to writing, and how did this influence his writing?

9. What does Marcher realize when May Bartram dies?

10. What is the significance of the setting in 'The Middle Years'?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Money is an issue for many of the characters in James' stories. Where does money come from, and who produces it? Which, if any, characters, have earned their freedom by making money themselves, and what kind of freedom do the other characters come by or struggle to attain?

Essay Topic 2

Write a character sketch of the author based on his style and content. What values does he hold dear? What are his hopes and fears? What kind of person do you think he is? Anchor your sketch in passages in the book.

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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