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. How does Zola describe Irma Bécot?

2. What does Claude recognize about the group that still comes together for the Thursday night soirees?

3. How has Claude's past prepared him for living in the country?

4. Why has the herbalist's shop seen better days?

5. What does Christine do the morning after she and Claude consummate their love?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How is the neglect of Jacques symbolized?

4. How have the fortunes turned for Irma Bécot?

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

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

7. What is another evidence of how the Open air group is drifting apart?

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

9. Describe the friendship between Claude, Sandoz, and Dubuche.

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

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 Provencal Morality in the 19th century. In the essay points, include (1) public opinion of single women seen in the company of young men, (2) public acceptance of a courtesan but detesting a trollop, (3) double standards for men and women.

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay of at least two typed, double-spaced pages on the topic of The Tragedy of Dubuche. The main points of the essay are (1) why Dubuche was successful at the studio of Duquersonnière, (2) why he failed after joining with Margaillan, and (3) what he was reduced to after failing as an architect.

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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