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. How much time passes between May Bartram moving to London and her falling ill?

2. What dose Miss Staverton say Spencer Brydon would have done if he had returned years earlier?

3. What is Miss Staverton's relationship with Spencer Brydon?

4. How old is Spencer Brydon?

5. What does John Marcher realize he should have done?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe Spencer Brydon's encounter with his alter ego.

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

4. Who is the main character of 'In the Cage,' and what is he dilemma?

5. Where is 'In the Cage' set?

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

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

8. Under what conditions does Spencer Brydon meet Miss Staverton again?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe Henry James' views about social class, as represented in his stories. Is he someone who believes in the value of class, or does he seem to believe that every human being is inherently equal?

Essay Topic 2

In 'The Real Thing' and other stories, James uses irony to evoke strong emotions and even feelings of surprise in the reader. Describe two different uses of irony in James' stories. Analyze the emotions created in the reader by the stories.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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