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. The author states in the book’s Foreword that in constructing the narrative she did not want to do what to "the characters who trashed Pecola and contributed to her collapse"?

2. What is Pecola’s father’s name, according to the narrator in Part I?

3. In the book’s Foreword, the author writes that the book arose from a conversation she had with a childhood friend who wished that she had what?

4. How old does the narrator say she is in Part II?

5. Near what local coal company does the narrator say she sometimes goes in the evenings with grown-ups to fill burlap sacks with coal in Part II?

Short Essay Questions

1. What information is related to the reader in the brief italicized preface before “Autumn”?

2. How is Mr. Henry described in “Autumn”? What is his role in the MacTeer home?

3. 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?

4. Who takes control of the situation when Pecola suddenly begins menstruating in Part II? How?

5. What commotion begins when Rosemary “tattles” on Claudia, Frieda, and Pecola for “being nasty” in “Autumn”?

6. Who can be seen in Part I as characters that face trouble assimilating into “white society’s standards of beauty”?

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 second version represent?

8. How is the MacTeer home described in “Autumn”? How are the relationships between the children and the adults characterized?

9. 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?

10. How does the narrator compare the state of being “put out” with being “outdoors” in “Autumn”?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe and discuss racial discrimination within black communities in the United States. How and why, in the novel, is Maureen Peal depicted as being of a higher stature because of the lighter color of her skin tone? What discrimination does Maureen face in her community and in the white community?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss Claudia and Frieda’s feelings about Rosemary, their next-door neighbor. What does Rosemary say to get Claudia and Frieda in trouble with Mrs. MacTeer when they are helping Pecola? Why does she do this? How is Rosemary described by the narrator?

Essay Topic 3

What adjectives and descriptive words are used in “See the Cat…” to describe the “types of girls” who come to Lorain from places like Mobile, Marietta, etc.? How do these girls differ from the “black girls” that Claudia and Frieda consider themselves? Do you think that the narrator views the girls as better than them, or simply as perceived as better?

(see the answer keys)

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