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. Who is the art dealer who has made a fortune out of buying pieces and manipulating their prices?

2. Beside the clothed man and the naked women, what are the people criticizing?

3. What does the lusty Jory like about Mahoudeau's sculpture of the Grape Picker?

4. What happens when the young woman wakes up?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. When Naudet shows up at Bongrand's studio, why does he refuse to sell him his paintings?

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

3. What is Claude's behavior after a party at Sandoz's house that alarms Christine?

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

5. How do Christine and Claude react differently to tragedy?

6. Describe how Claude further distances himself from Christine and Jacques.

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

8. How is history repeated with Claude and his huge canvas?

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

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

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 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 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 an essay of at least two typed, double-spaced pages on the topic of Claude Lantier's Reverence for Nude Women in Art. The three specific areas of the novel that deal with this topic should be the main points of your essay: (1) looking at Christine posing nude for the first time, Zola says that Claude's "heart pounded in his breast as it might have done in the presence of a naked saint." (2) Zola later tells the reader that Claude saw his nude woman in his paintings as a symbol for Paris. (3) Finally, Claude is unable to recapture the woman in his final painting and ultimately commits suicide for the love of her.

(see the answer keys)

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