The Hours 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. What sort of top is Clarissa wearing?

2. What does the word 'ephemera' mean?

3. In what season of the year does this part of the story take place?

4. What troubles Laura about Richie?

5. What is the meaning of the word 'obfuscation'?

Short Essay Questions

1. Comment on an aspect of the Prologue's final paragraph.

2. When Clarissa thinks of Richard's illness, what makes her resentful?

3. Why is Laura fearful of Richie making an error as he helps her make the cake?

4. What does Willie Bass think of Clarissa?

5. Explain what is meant by the comment that Laura Brown is 'trying to keep herself'.

6. What is significant about Vanessa's visit to Hogarth House?

7. What is the 'inner faculty' that Virginia refers to?

8. What went wrong with the relationship of Clarissa and Richard when they were younger?

9. What is the significance of the literary prize that Richard has been awarded?

10. What is notable about Richard's good fortune?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

'Clarissa Vaughan is the only attractive character in Michael Cunningham's The Hours.' Is this a fair comment? Discuss the main characters in the novel (Clarissa, Virginia, Laura, Richard) and refer to others as you think appropriate.

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay that discusses the contribution of the minor characters in The Hours. Could any of them have been omitted? What difference do they make to the story? Do they enrich it in any way?

Essay Topic 3

Birds and flowers are significant symbols in The Hours. Discuss the way these and one other symbol of your choice are used in the novel.

(see the answer keys)

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