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. When does Marlowe tell Chess that Kingsley's wife is missing?

2. How much money does Marlowe ask for as a retainer?

3. What does the sheriff imply about Bill's note from Muriel?

4. What animal does Marlowe compare the blonde at the PBX to?

5. What is Marlowe's first impression of Sheriff Patton?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How does the woman in Lavery's house leave?

4. What encounter did Kingsley have, that made him worried about his wife?

5. At the end of chapter fourteen, what does Marlowe tell Kingsley is his next step?

6. What does Marlowe say that they'll have to do to get financial information about Kingsley's wife?

7. How does Kingsley act, when Marlowe first meets him?

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

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

10. How does Miss Fromsett describe Florence Almore?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The Lady in the Lake is structured in 41 short chapters. Discuss the novel's structure.

1) Why does the author choose many short chapters instead of longer ones? Why are some conversations spread over more than one chapter?

2) What is the climax of the novel? How does the novel build to the climax, and how does it resolve?

3) What stages does Marlowe go through in his journey to unravel the truth?

Essay Topic 2

The Lady in the Lake has multiple antagonists who have different goals. Discuss the antagonists in the novel.

1) What antagonists in the novel are obvious and what antagonists are hidden? How do multiple antagonists function in the genre to create mystery and conflict?

2) Discuss Degarmo and Mildred Haviland as antagonists. What different roles do they fill?

3) How do the police function as antagonists?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the treatment of women and the idea of the femme fatale in the novel.

1) What are the women in the novel like? Are there positive and negative women characters, and what are their qualities? How do they compare to real women?

2) Who in the novel is a femme fatale? How is any femme fatale in the novel similar to and different from the archetype of the femme fatale?

3) How do women treat men in the novel? How do men treat women?

(see the answer keys)

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