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. What is the opening setting for the novelette The Awakening?

2. What does Edna think she understands?

3. Where does Edna plan to move?

4. Who is Léonce Pontellier?

5. Why does Robert take Edna to Madame Antoine's home?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Mildred's first meeting with the "farm worker."

2. How is Edna's life changing?

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

4. How does Elizabeth help Mr. Brightman?

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

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

7. How does Monsieur Perrault alter Ninette's life?

8. How does Calixta become involved with Alcée Laballière?

9. What does Gabriel tell Tnate Elodie and what does she say in response?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The Awakening, as does several of the short stores ends on an unhappy or seemingly morbid note. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think many (most?) people want what they perceive as a happy or good ending to a novel? Explain your opinion. Do you? Why or why? not?

2. What are three reasons to read fiction? Discuss each one in light of The Awakening and the short stories and whether or not Chopin's works fulfills all three, two or one of the reasons you mention. Give examples as to why Chopin's works are or are not successful in fulfilling the reasons you discuss.

3. Do you think reading solely for entertainment is as good a reason to read as any other? Why or why not? Can any work of fiction or non-fiction, no matter how poorly written, enlighten, teach, stimulate thought? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

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 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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