The Lady in the Lake 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 does Lavery tell Marlowe about Crystal Kingsley?

2. What does Marlowe hear as he approaches the nearest cabin at the lake?

3. What color are the drapes and carpet in Kingsley's private office?

4. Where does Almore watch from, as the big, blond, blue-eyed man accosts Marlowe?

5. What does Marlowe see in the water that looks like underwatter flooring?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Bill Chess respond when Marlowe asks if Muriel and Crystal might have gone away together?

2. What does Marlowe discover when he examines the item he takes from the woman in Lavery's house?

3. What reason does Sheriff Patton give why Bill might have stayed in town if he killed his wife?

4. Under what terms does Marlowe accept the offer of five hundred dollars from Kingsley?

5. What does Marlowe say to do about the handkerchief.

6. What important information does the bellhop at the Prescott Hotel offer, based on the photo of Crystal Kingsley?

7. What things does Marlowe list that might have happened to Kingsley's wife?

8. What does Marlowe notice about Lavery's phone?

9. Where is Lavery going, when he leaves the house?

10. What does Bill Chess do to himself, after shouting at the sheriff to arrest him?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Degarmo both brings Marlowe into the central mystery of the story and drives the ending of the novel. Discuss Degarmo's character.

1) Why does Degarmo try to protect his wife? Why does he ultimately kill her?

2) In what ways is Degarmo corrupt? What is the motivation behind his corruption?

3) How intelligent is Degarmo? What mistakes does he make? How does Marlowe see through him?

Essay Topic 2

The Lady in the Lake is set in the summer, in Southern California. Both the heat and the locale impact the novel. Discuss the novel's setting.

1) What places in Southern California does Marlowe visit? How are these locations characteristic of Southern California? What lifestyles do they evoke?

2) Why does the author choose the summer to set the story in? What do the references to the heat accomplish in the novel?

3) How do Marlowe's descriptions of specific locations, like Kingsley's office or Lavery's home, set the tone for the novel and give information to the reader?

Essay Topic 3

Marlowe delves into an underground world of crime and corruption that lives beneath the normal-seeming surface world of the city. Discuss the presence of this underground world in the novel.

1) What different segments of society are present in the novel? How does Marlowe travel between them?

2) What aspects of society in the novel remain hidden? What is it taboo to talk about?

3) What open secrets are there in the novel? An open secret is something illicit and undiscussed, but something that everyone knows about.

(see the answer keys)

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