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. Why does Dencombe feel this way?

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

3. James' critical language come from ___________.

4. What does John Marcher realize about the event he was waiting for?

5. What does Dencombe realize as he dies?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Where do John Marcher and May Bartram meet in 'The Beast in the Jungle'?

3. Where is 'In the Cage' set?

4. What does Marcher realize when May Bartram dies?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

We always have to wonder whether writers in stories represent the author himself. How can we interpret James' views about creativity based on what he says about the characters who are creative in his stories? Do James' characters advance a coherent theory of creativity and its importance in a culture?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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