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. Who are the late comers for Sandoz's Thursday soiree?

2. How does Claude think Irma has changed?

3. What does an old man in the woods offer Claude and Christine?

4. How does Bongrand get rid of Naudet when he comes to buy one of his paintings?

5. How does Christine re-enter Claude's life?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Zola show the domestic side of Christine?

2. In what way is Christine's response to their love making a believable part of the story?

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

4. What happens when Sandoz takes Claude back to visit the country where he once lived?

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

6. Describe Claude's behavior after the Salon.

7. Describe the image of Claude, Sandoz, Jory, and Chaîne marching through the streets of Paris.

8. Why is Claude told not to bring Christine to the Thursday night gatherings?

9. What is the showdown between Christine and the nude woman in Claude's painting?

10. How do Christine and Claude react differently to tragedy?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay of at least two typed, double-spaced pages on the topic of Getting to the Top. Using Bongrand as an authority, the essay should center on his statement that the "greatest satisfaction was not being at the top, but in getting there." The essay may also include more modern examples of more modern celebrities who rose to the top of their fields only to end up in obscurity.

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay of at least two typed, double-spaced pages on the topic of The Decadent Bourgeois. The essay should center on Margaillan and include (1) his ill-gotten wealth, (2) his conspicuous spending, and (3) his disrespectful manner while viewing Claude's painting at the Salon des Refusés.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay of at least two typed, double-spaced pages on the topic of Zola's Use of Simile in THE MASTERPIECE. Going through the novel, pick out three similes that particularly impress you and build your essay around those. (For example, Zola refers to life in the "secluded little mansion in smooth and regular as the gentle ticking of its antiquated clocks.") Points of the essay should include (1) why you chose the similes, (2) how they made a passage clearer, and (3) how easy they are to understand.

(see the answer keys)

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