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. Why has the herbalist's shop seen better days?

2. How does Zola describe Irma Bécot?

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

4. How has Claude's past prepared him for living in the country?

5. What does Bongrand have to say about Fagerolles's painting?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Explain why Christine refuses to go sightseeing with Claude on the streets of Paris.

3. Describe the mood at the beginning of the novel.

4. What is the occasion when Claude first goes to the Salon to look for his painting?

5. How does Dubuche's appearance at the Thursday night gathering indicate his ultimate destruction as an avant-guarde architect?

6. How does the reader know that Christine has been thinking of Claude since the night she spent in his studio?

7. Describe the difference between Sandoz and Jory as writers.

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

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

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

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 Art and Art Dealers. The essay topics should include (1) Naudet who could tell which artists could make him money but had no idea about which artist could become a great painter; (2) Bongrand's accusation that art had been reduced to francs, and (3) Malgras who recognized good art but resorted to cheating the artists.

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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