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. When was the beginnings of the Bohemian lifestyle of Claude and Pierre?

2. What are the paintings that repulse Christine in Claude's studio?

3. What does she notice about Claude's Open Air painting?

4. Why was Mahoudeau sent to Paris from Plassans?

5. Who is Jory looking for when he bumps into Claude?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is the pathos of Claude's funeral?

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

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

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

6. In what way do some of Claude's friends add to his personal insecurity?

7. How does the foreshadowed tragedy come to pass?

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

9. How does Claude hurt Christine deeply with his complaint about her dinner?

10. How does Claude exhibit manic behavior during the night?

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 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 3

Write a critique of the novel. Discuss Zola's style and use of language, giving specific examples. Include the autobiographical nature of Sandoz as Zola himself. Express how you feel about the suspense of the novel and whether it makes you not want to put it down. Conclude with your recommendation for others to read THE MASTERPIECE.

(see the answer keys)

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