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 famous artist joins the group at Pierre's house?

2. How does Claude often see himself artistically?

3. Although Naudet can spot a good deal, how does Claude see him?

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

5. While Pierre and Dubuche are in the studio, what does Claude almost do?

Short Essay Questions

1. In what way does the reader understand that Claude is first and foremost an artist?

2. Describe the friendship between Claude, Sandoz, and Dubuche.

3. What is the physical evidence that Dubuche has already deserted to the enemy?

4. Explain the result of Claude's and Christine's visit to the country.

5. What is it that frightens Christine about Claude?

6. How does the reader understand that Claude earns a subsistence?

7. How has Fagerolles become swallowed up by the commercial world of art?

8. Explain how Claude turns on Christine as the reason his grand painting is not coming together for him.

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

10. Describe the irony when Christine finally agrees to walk with Claude in public.

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 the move toward realism in the modern novel. Using Sandoz as the fictional representation of Zola himself, point out the specifics in THE MASTERPIECE that started the move toward more honesty and openness in novels during the late 19th century. Include reasons that living artists of the day objected to THE MASTERPIECE.

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay of at least two typed, double-spaced pages on the topic of How Sandoz and Claude See Chaîne Differently. Using the passage where they meet Chaîne at the carnival, explain how and why Sandoz sees Chaîne in a completely different light from the way Claude sees him. Explain why Sandoz sees so much clearer than Claude does.

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 Passy...as 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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