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. Why does Edna cry after Robert leaves?

2. What does Madame Ratignolle ask Robert to do?

3. What does Robert say forced him to go to Mexico?

4. How many children does Edna have?

5. What does the character finally do?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What does Edna start attending?

4. Describe one of Edna's childhood crushes.

5. Describe the Pontellier family.

6. How does the creature survive and how does it see?

7. What does the creature finally do?

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

9. About what do Edna and her father argue and what does her father say to Léonce?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Many authors write numerous works of fiction that differ in plot and detail, but which often treat the same ideas over and over. Discuss the following:

1. What is one theme/idea that exists in at least three of Chopin's works in this collection? Compare and contrast how the theme is treated among the three pieces.

2. Compare/contrast two of Chopin's short stories for their similarities and differences. Does Chopin seem more sympathetic towards women or men? Or is there any pattern? Do you think Chopin endorses the cultural expectations of the day? why or why not.

3. Most of Chopin's works are short stories and two short novels (or novelettes). Why do you think Chopin chooses to write in the short story genre? Compare/contrast the challenges of writing a longer novel versus a short story. Which would you prefer to read? Write? Why?

Essay Topic 2

Characters are an integral and important part of almost all novels. Discuss one of the following in relation to The Awakening:

1. Compare/contrast the characters of Edna Pontellier and Adèle Ratignolle. How are they similar? How are they different? Is there a flaw in each of their personalities? Is either woman's beliefs more worthy than the other? Be specific and give examples.

2. Compare/contrast the characters of Leonce Pontellier and Robert LeBrun. How do they seem different? Which do you like more? Why? Which one seems more of a well-rounded character?

3. Thoroughly analyze how three of the secondary characters help drive the plot and what their contribution is to the storyline. Are any of the secondary characters unnecessary? Indispensable? Which of the secondary characters are likable? Which are either unlikable or even despicable? Be specific and give examples.

Essay Topic 3

Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze the theme of growth in The Awakening or three of the short stories. Consider the following questions as you write: What characters are most concerned with growth? Why? What are some symbols of growth? Symbols of rigidity? What characters seem rigid?

2. Trace and analyze the theme of mental/emotional illness or immaturity in The Awakening or three of the short stories. Which characters struggle with some sort of emotional illness? Why? Which characters seem really healthy emotionally/mentally? Why?

3. Trace and analyze the theme of tradition in The Awakening or three of the short stories. What is Leonce's view of tradition? Edna's? Robert? Alcee? Adele? What is the view towards tradition of two of the characters in each short story you choose? Why is tradition important to some characters? Is anyone willing to abandon traditional viewpoints? Who? What are the positive and negative sides to tradition?

(see the answer keys)

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