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 is the laughter the loudest?

2. Why does Christine pack up everything to return to Paris?

3. What does Christine do just before the deadline to enter a painting at the Salon?

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

5. Which of Claude's friends do he and Christine see in the street?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Discuss Claude's conversations with Christine that show he is more and more dissatisfied.

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

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

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

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

7. How does the foreshadowed tragedy come to pass?

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

9. What is it that frightens Christine about Claude?

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

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 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.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay of at least two typed, double-spaced pages on the topic of Artistic Procrastination. In the essay, analyze the first summer for Claude and Christine in the country. (1) There is no end to the sights that inspire Claude. (2) Christine worries that she is keeping him from his work to which he responds, "...just you wait till tomorrow, you'll see what I can do." (3) The ways Zola describes Claude's summer of working in "fits and starts."

(see the answer keys)

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