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. After renewing his association with Sandoz, what is Claude incessantly talking about?

2. What is the condition of the clothes the young artists wear?

3. Who do Claude, Pierre, and Jory find sitting at a table making sketches with drops of beer?

4. What makes Claude and Sandoz become exasperated with stupidity of the crowd?

5. What does Bongrand say is better than being at the top?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What indicates that Claude would be perfectly happy just to see Christine from time to time rather than have her move in with him?

5. As the character of Claude develops in the novel, what appears to be his greatest fault?

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

7. How is the decision made to return to Paris?

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

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

10. Describe how Claude begins to change his attitude toward living in the country.

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 symbolism in painting. Note in your essay that the nude woman in Claude's paintings represented something in his mind that completely went over the heads of the public. Since classic painting and sculpture had represented the nude body for centuries, what was it about Claude's nude figures that caused the public to laugh at his work?

Essay Topic 2

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 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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