The Good Soldier 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. Who, according to Leonora Ashburnham, has the upper hand in the Dowell's marriage?

2. When does Captain Edward Ashburnham's disease begin?

3. What is Maisie Maidan's marital status?

4. Who is the narrator of The Good Solider ?

5. Where do the Ashburnhams first meet Maisie Maidan?

Short Essay Questions

1. Explain the motivations of each character (Florence Dowell, John Dowell, Leonora Ashburnham, and Captain Edward Ashburnham) for taking the trip to the castle.

2. Who is responsible for Maisie Maidan's death?

3. Do you think Captain Edward Ashburnham's romantic feelings for Nancy Rufford are morally reprehensible?

4. Is it surprising that John Dowell, the narrator in Part 3, Chapter 1, tries to justify Captain Edward Ashburnham's relationship with Nancy Rufford?

5. Why does John Dowell identify with Leonora Ashburnham?

6. Describe Leonora Ashburnham's physical altercation with Maisie Maidan and its significance.

7. John Dowell supposes that Captain Edward Ashburnham eventually tired of Florence Dowell's affection. What might have caused Captain Edward Ashburnham to become tired of his affair with Florence?

8. Have the Ashburnhams ever had physical or emotional affection for one another?

9. How do the personalities of Florence Dowell and Leonora Ashburnham differ?

10. Describe the Ashburnhams relationship with the Dowells and the "nine years of uninterrupted tranquility" that transpires between them.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The Good Soldier makes explicit comparisons between the awkwardness and unruliness of American life and the stately and opulent life of an English estate. Ford juxtaposes American culture and English culture not only by throwing the American Dowells and the English Ashburnhams together, but also by describing the generous and industrious eccentricities of Florence's Uncle John. Explain the role nationalism plays in The Good Soldier. In the essay consider the following:

1. Do the characters' nationalities cause conflict in the novel? If so, how?

2. Considering that Ford is English, does he show any biases? Does Ford accurately render American sensibilities or does he stereotype them?

Essay Topic 2

Explain the role of money in The Good Soldier. How does money affect the characters' relationships in The Good Soldier? If money is truly power, which of the novel's characters are powerful? How do the novel's characters utilize the power of money?

Essay Topic 3

It seems as though both the Dowell's marriage and the Ashburnham's marriage is dominated by women. Leonora Ashburnham is in control of both the Ashburnham estate and Edward's personal life. Florence, on the other hand, is at the center of the Dowell marriage--her illness becomes the fulcrum of their relationship as John assumes the charge of nurse and takes care of her every need. Assess the Dowell's and Ashburnham's female-dominated marriages. Does having a female head of house help, hinder or have no effect on their marriages? Does John's narration criticize dominance in women? Is Ford's portrayal of Florence and Leonora positive, negative or indifferent? What, if anything, does Ford's portrayal of Florence and Leonora say about his attitude toward dominant women?

(see the answer keys)

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