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. Soon after the Dowells are married, Florence Dowell asks her husband to hold something for her. What is the object Florence asks her husband to hold?

2. Both Florence Dowell and Captain Edward Ashburnham suffer from which disease?

3. What is the first name of Florence's uncle?

4. In the first chapter, it's revealed that which of these two characters are having an affair?

5. What dream must Florence Dowell give up in order to divorce her husband and be with Captain Edward Ashburnham?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe the marriage between Leonora Ashburnham and Captain Edward Ashburnham.

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

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

5. Why does John Dowell enjoy the train ride to the castle?

6. Why does John Dowell laugh at Leonora Ashburnham when she says she can learn to "accept the situation" between Florence Dowell and Captain Edward Ashburnham?

7. By the end of Part 2, Chapter 2, both Florence Dowell and Maisie Maidan have died. Compare and contrast the death of Maisie Maidan and the death of Florence Dowell.

8. Based on John Dowells narration in Chapter 1, Part 1, do you think The Good Soldier will end in resolution or in tragedy?

9. After reflecting upon the events of his life, how does John Dowell feel about marriage?

10. Describe Nancy Rufford's relationship with Captain Edward Ashburnham.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Address the question of John's feelings toward Edward. Why does John continually excuse Edward from judgment? Why does John place all the blame on Leonora Ashburnham and Florence Dowell for the novel's tragedies? Does John so esteem Edward because he is jealous of Edward, because he is in love with Edward, or simply because he is biased toward women?

Essay Topic 2

Compare and contrast The Good Soldier's main characters: John Dowell, Florence Dowell, Leonora Ashburnham, and Nancy Rufford. Of these characters, who is the most morally righteous? Who is the most enlightened? Determine the identity of the novel's hero, or whether the novel has a hero at all. In your assessment consider the following questions: does Ford seem to sympathize with any of these characters more than the others? What qualities make one of these characters "better" than the others? Who, if anyone, does Ford believe one should model his behavior after? If Ford indeed elevates one character over all the others, what does his preference imply about the overall message of the novel?

Essay Topic 3

What is the overall message behind The Good Soldier?

(see the answer keys)

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