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. Whose wedding does Edna refuse to attend?

2. What does the character not perceive?

3. Who is Léonce Pontellier?

4. Why is Edna's family opposed to marriage to Léonce?

5. Where does Edna take her father when he visits?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Madame Ratignolle ask of Edna and what does she think of the pigeon house?

3. What does the letter say that Mildred receives from her family?

4. Describe Edna's last swim.

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

6. What is Edna's life like in New Orleans?

7. What does Edna start attending?

8. What is the creature's situation like at the opening of the story?

9. Describe Madame Ratignolle.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Certainly The Awakening and also most of Chopin's other short stories in this volume deal with the subject of gender. Discuss the following:

1. Define the term "gender."

2. Does gender only refer to whether a person is male or female? Is gender easy to identify?

3. Discuss the Creole cultural definitions of gender during the era of The Awakening and the expectations for each gender. Do any of those expectations exist today?

4. Discuss two short stories in which gender seems to be a theme. How is the theme treated? Would you like to live in a culture that has those expectations for men and women?

5. Are women the only ones harmed by gender-based expectations? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss one of the following:

1. Define irony in literary terms. Discuss the irony of the situation whereby Edna's husband tells her she is safe when she swims out too far because he is watching her versus when Edna takes her last swim alone. Discuss the use of irony in two of the short stories.

2. Define symbolism in literary terms. Discuss the use of and meaning of five symbols found in The Awakening.

3. Discuss the use of and meaning of five symbols found in three of the short stories.

4. Discuss the use of foreshadowing in literature. What is the purpose of foreshadowing? Cite 3 examples of foreshadowing and how it is used to indicate events to come in The Awakening and/or several of the short stories.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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