The Masterpiece 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 self imposed time limit has Claude put on finishing his painting called Open Air?

2. What is Claude thinking about as he walks home late at night?

3. What does Christine fear if Claude escorts her to the station?

4. Where does Claude go for a cheap lunch?

5. Back in Paris, Claude returns to walking the streets and leaves what up to Christine?

Short Essay Questions

1. When Naudet shows up at Bongrand's studio, why does he refuse to sell him his paintings?

2. Describe how Claude begins to change his attitude toward living in the country.

3. How does the atmosphere of the country begin to change for Claude and Christine?

4. Describe Claude's continuing struggle to be accepted by the art circles in Paris.

5. How does Zola's novel parallel the realism that Sandoz believes novels should portray?

6. After returning to Paris, what indicates that Claude is taking Christine for granted and no longer has a romantic love for her?

7. Why does Christine turn to Sandoz to help pull Claude out of one of his depressions?

8. What is it that frightens Christine about Claude?

9. How does Claude attempt to make Christine happy once again?

10. Aside from the poverty of Claude's studio, how does the reader come to understand how poor Claude actually is?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay of at least two typed, double-spaced pages on the topic of Foreshadowing Claude's Death. In Chapter 11, there are passages where Sandoz fears for Claude's life, Christine has a "dread she dared not put into words," and Claude recognizes "desire hovering on the brink of blissful death." With those as the main points of the essay, write about what each of them means as a foreshadowing.

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay of at least two typed, double-spaced pages on the topic of contradictory moral values during the 19th century. Use Henriette and Christine versus Irma and Mathilde to point out these contradictions. Be sure to include how Christine manages to maintain her moral character even though she lives many years with Claude before they are married. Also include how Irma is tolerated in polite society whereas Christine is the subject of gossip and condemnation.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay of at least two typed, double-spaced pages on the topic of Jacques as Possibly Autistic. Re-read the passage in the middle of Chapter 8 where Jacques keeps repeating "nice cat, naughty cat." Discuss his behavior as possibly being that of an autistic child. Include in the essay both Claude's and Christine's reactions to the scene as people who do not know how to deal with such a child. Conclude with Jacques's reaction to Claude's outburst. Autism was not a recognizable disability in the 19th century, so is this possibly Zola's observation of such behavior without giving it a name?

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