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. Where does Léonce think Edna spends too much time?

2. What is the main character in this story?

3. Why is Edna jealous of Madame Lebrun?

4. Why does Mildred feel ashamed?

5. What does Léonce fear about Edna?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why does Edna decide to move into a smaller house and what does the staff call the house?

3. Describe one of Edna's childhood crushes.

4. Describe Edna's terrifying water experience.

5. Describe the scene when Victor upsets Edna.

6. What happens when the cage door is left open by accident one day?

7. What does Robert confess when he and Edna go back to the pigeon house and what is Edna's response?

8. What does Edna start attending?

9. How does Edna plan to pay for her move?

10. What does Edna find when she visits Mademoiselle Reisz and how does Edna react?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Edna commits suicide (presumably) at the end of the story, The Awakening. Discuss the following:

1. Trace and analyze five major events that leads up to Edna's suicide. Could any of them have been altered? What does each event contribute to Edna's fateful decision?

2. Suicide is often considered by people who feel they have no other options. Do you think Edna is at that point when she kills herself? What other options does Edna have (consider the times and culture in which Edna lives)?

3. Is Edna's suicide an act of courage? Stupidity? Selfishness? Do you hold her responsible for the impact her death will have on those who love her? How do you think they will be affected?

4. Do you think Edna's husband is partly to blame for the woman's problems? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

The Awakening could be said to be a "bildungsroman" of Edna Pontellier, the narrator. Discuss the following:

1. Define the concepts "bildungsroman" and "coming of age."

2. Thoroughly trace and analyze The Awakening as a bildungsroman of Edna Pontellier. Give specific examples. What does Edna learn? How has she changed? Is the change for the better?

3. Thoroughly trace and analyze Athénaïse as a coming of age story. Give specific examples. What does Athénaïse learn? How has she changed? Is the change for the better?

(see the answer keys)

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