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. Although frequently inspired by what he sees in the country, how does Claude react?

2. What do Claude's friends in Paris think is the ideal life for an artist?

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

4. Besides Jory, who else is vying for the attention of Mathilde?

5. Who is the ugly family walking along with Dubuche?

Short Essay Questions

1. How do praise and laughter demonstrate Claude's personal insecurities at the Salon des Refusés?

2. Explain how Sandoz maintains his artistic integrity with his novels.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. What is Claude's goal for gaining acceptance of his art?

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 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 The Development of the Rift Between Claude and Christine. Using this line from the end of Chapter 8--"Never again would they be all-in-all to each other; the rift between them could never be healed. The wife had despoiled the mistress, and marriage seems to have done away with love." Explain in the essay what Zola means by those statements.

(see the answer keys)

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