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. Of what does Edna remind Robert?

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

3. What has Robert been teaching Edna?

4. About what does Edna argue with her father?

5. What does Edna think she understands?

Short Essay Questions

1. What story does Edna tell and how does she explain knowing of the story?

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

3. Describe Edna's last swim.

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

5. How does Léonce Pontellier treat his sunburned wife?

6. Describe one of Edna's childhood crushes.

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

8. Describe Madame Ratignolle.

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the following:

1. Discuss the theme of choice in The Awakening and two of the short stories. Who makes wise choices? Who makes unwise choices? Do you think Edna believes more in fate or free will? Why?

2. Debate the following statement in an argument/persuasion essay: Making several poor choices one after the other makes it more likely one will continue to make poor choices.

3. Rewrite the ending with Edna making what you think would be a wiser choice and then discuss why you believe it would be a better choice.

(see the answer keys)

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