The Awakening, and Selected Stories Test | Mid-Book 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. When does Mr. Pontellier arrive at the cottage after the swim?

2. Why does Edna cry after Robert leaves?

3. Who is Madame Lebrun?

4. What is the main character in this story?

5. What is the only thing that makes Edna happy since Robert left?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Edna learn when she returns from Chênière Caminada?

2. What do Edna and her father do when he visits and how does Léonce respond?

3. How is Edna's life changing?

4. How does Edna feel about living in the pigeon house?

5. What happens when Edna visits Madame Lebrun?

6. What happens when Mr. Pontellier arrives home at eleven?

7. What does Edna start attending?

8. What happens between Robert and Edna by the end of Chapter 35?

9. Why do Edna and her husband argue and what does each do?

10. Describe the scene when Victor upsets Edna.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Often titles reveal much about one or more aspects of a novel. Discuss the following:

1. What do you think is the purpose of a title? How closely related to a major theme(s) of a book do you think a title should be? Or should it be?

2. The Awakening seems to suggest someone has awakened who was asleep. Discuss this title and the theme behind it.

3. If you were the writer of The Awakening and your editor says the title must be changed, what would you choose? Why?

4. Discuss the titles of two of the short stories and their meanings in the context of the story. Evaluate the effectiveness of the title.

Essay Topic 2

Setting as far as place and time play an important role in The Awakening and many of Chopin's short stories. Discuss the following:

1. Compare/contrast several aspects of the setting of that time (late 1800s) from how it would be today. Consider things such as cultural norms/expectations, technology, religion and medicine.

2. Do you The Awakening or any of the short stories would be different if it were set in another state in the United States, such as California, in that same era? Consider particularly the fact that Creole people often have a strong identification with the area around New Orleans.

3. What issues that are present in the time of The Awakening would still be issues today? What would no longer be issues? Consider such things as class, racism, alcoholism, sexual freedom, rugged individualism and integrity.

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the following:

1. What do you think are the characteristics of a successful novel? What about a successful short story? Do the criteria for a successful piece of fiction differ between a novel and short story? Why or why not.

2. Analyze and discuss The Awakening based upon the criteria you decide upon in #1 and judge if The Awakening is a successful novelette. Explain your rationale with specific examples.

3. Do you think the fact that The Awakening is a novelette changes the criteria upon which its success should be judged? Explain.

4. Analyze and discuss two short stories based upon the criteria you decide upon in #1 and judge if each is successful as a piece of fiction. Explain your rationale with specific examples.

(see the answer keys)

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