The Bluest Eye 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. In the story of Jane from Part I, Jane’s family lives in a house that is what colors?

2. How much milk does Mrs. MacTeer complain about having disappeared from her refrigerator overnight in Part II?

3. The author states in the book’s Foreword, “Beauty was not simply something to behold; it was" what?

4. According to the narrator in Part II, who “spent all their energies, all their love, on their nests”?

5. The author states in the Foreword that her concept of breaking the narrative of the novel into parts "didn't work" because many readers "remain touched but not" what?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did author Toni Morrison perceive the Civil Rights Movement’s slogan “Black is Beautiful”? How is this seen in the novel?

2. How is the apartment of the Breedlove family described in “Here is the House…”?

3. What foreshadowing is revealed by the narrator in the end of Part I?

4. Is the setting of the novel focused on a specific societal group, or is the setting inclusive of different racial groups?

5. How are Claudia’s feelings about Shirley Temple and about baby dolls illustrated in “Autumn”?

6. According to some critics, the three versions of the reader presented on the first page of The Bluest Eye represent three lifestyles presented in the novel. What does the third version represent?

7. According to some critics, the three versions of the reader presented on the first page of The Bluest Eye represent three lifestyles presented in the novel. What does the first version represent?

8. Describe the “Dick and Jane” reader presented in Part I. How does this excerpt change in each retelling?

9. According to some critics, the three versions of the reader presented on the first page of The Bluest Eye represent three lifestyles presented in the novel. What does the second version represent?

10. What do Claudia and Frieda receive at the beginning of the school year in “Autumn”? What conversation consumes “the grownups” in the opening of this chapter?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In Part I, the narrator claims, “There is really nothing more to say--except why. But since why is difficult to handle, one must take refuge in how.” What do you think the differences are between “why” and “how” in literature and in life? Do you think that the narrator effectively answers these questions in the narrative?

Essay Topic 2

Describe and analyze the author’s choice of character names in the novel. What do you think the significance is of names like “Breedlove,” “MacTeer,” and “Fisher,” among others? Do you think these names were chosen for a specific reason? If so, what reason?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the feelings of guilt and shame that Frieda experiences after her encounter with Mr. Henry. Do you think that Frieda’s parents, friends, or other adults could have made it easier for Frieda by telling her that it wasn’t her fault? Why do you believe the adults did not do this?

(see the answer keys)

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