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 does Spencer Brydon do with the second house he acquires?

2. How does James characterize the lifestyle John Marcher leads?

3. What does James say a damsel in a small village can write about, if she is someone on whom nothing is lost?

4. How does James characterize the main character's fiancee?

5. Who relies on the main character for support?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. Describe Marcher's lifestyle.

5. Describe the relationship between Marcher and Bartram.

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

7. How does James address the formal rules prescribed for fiction?

8. Describe the meeting of Captain Everard and the telegraph operator.

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Where is the climax of this book? Are there different climaxes? What questions does each climax resolve? What questions does each climax leave unanswered?

Essay Topic 2

Is James' outlook tragic or comic? Is it realistic or pragmatic? Make an argument for the overall tone of James' stories.

Essay Topic 3

Evaluate your own reading of 'The Tales of Henry James.' Did you resist it, or were you compelled by the story? What does your reading tell you about yourself and your interests? Use specific examples from the book to describe yourself as a reader.

(see the answer keys)

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