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 is Marlowe's first impression of Sheriff Patton?

2. Who does Marlowe suggest to Miss Fromsett might have killed Lavery, aside from Mrs. Kingsley?

3. What jarring action does Lavery take before Marlowe leaves?

4. What is Lavery's arm like when Marlowe pulls at it?

5. When Marlowe returns to Lavery's house, what does he notice about the door?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Marlowe handle his long wait in Kingsley's office lobby?

2. How does Kingsley react to news of Muriel's death?

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

4. How does Miss Fromsett describe Florence Almore?

5. What excuse does Bill Chess give for his erratic behavior?

6. Where do Marlowe and Birdie go to talk?

7. Why does Marlowe initially sit in his car after visiting Lavery?

8. How does Mr. Kingsley feel about his secretary?

9. How does Marlowe know the name of the person who lives across the street from Lavery?

10. What reasons does Marlowe give that Lavery might be lying?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Marlowe's job puts him into dangerous situations. Discuss danger in the novel.

1) What causes danger in the novel? How is danger inherent in Marlowe's work?

2) How does Marlowe react to dangerous situations? What are his emotional responses? What are his intellectual responses, and what action does he take?

3) How do the antagonists in the novel react when they are in danger?

Essay Topic 3

The mystery in the novel is created through deception. Discuss deception in the novel.

1) How are appearances deceptive in the novel? How does Marlowe deal with and untangle deceptive appearances?

2) How do characters in the novel deceive each other? What are the motives for deceit?

3) In what ways is Marlowe deceptive? Why? Is deception merely an ethically neutral tool, or is it a bad thing?

(see the answer keys)

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