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 does James characterize Lady Bradeen?

2. What does Dencombe find when he reads his new book?

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

4. Who relies on the main character for support?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Describe the meeting between Dencombe and Dr. Hugh.

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

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

6. Describe the relationship between Marcher and Bartram.

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

8. Describe Marcher's lifestyle.

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

10. What does Marcher realize when May Bartram dies?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Which critical insight do you find most useful to understanding Henry James' work? Make an argument for one critical view of his stories. Tell why other critics were not as useful to your view of James.

Essay Topic 2

What makes Henry James an American author?

Essay Topic 3

How does James' stories describe the difference between America and Europe? What does each civilization stand for? How are they distinguished? What kind of drama is created when they come into conflict?

(see the answer keys)

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