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. In the second chapter, it's revealed that John and Florence Dowell spend twelve years of their marriage doing what?

2. How do Florence Dowell's aunts react when John Dowell tells them he wants to marry Florence?

3. Where is the castle located that is visited by the Ashburnhams and the Dowells?

4. Which character is a devout Irish Catholic ?

5. In the second chapter, what does John Dowell receive from Edward Ashburnham?

Short Essay Questions

1. According to John Dowell's point of view, what qualities define American culture?

2. According to John Dowell's point of view, what qualities define English culture?

3. Describe the point of view from which The Good Soldier is written.

4. Why does Florence Dowell commit suicide?

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

6. Why does John Dowell identify with Leonora Ashburnham?

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

8. Describe Captain Edward Ashburnham's reputation and accomplishments.

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

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

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

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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