The Masterpiece Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Sandoz tray to talk Claude out of doing?

2. How do Claude's friends react to his latest painting?

3. What is the irony of Sandoz's new house?

4. For a while, how does Claude make a fairly good living?

5. What is "varnishing day"?

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 contradictory moral values during the 19th century. Use Henriette and Christine versus Irma and Mathilde to point out these contradictions. Be sure to include how Christine manages to maintain her moral character even though she lives many years with Claude before they are married. Also include how Irma is tolerated in polite society whereas Christine is the subject of gossip and condemnation.

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay of at least two typed, double-spaced pages on the topic of Zola's Use of Simile in THE MASTERPIECE. Going through the novel, pick out three similes that particularly impress you and build your essay around those. (For example, Zola refers to life in the "secluded little mansion in smooth and regular as the gentle ticking of its antiquated clocks.") Points of the essay should include (1) why you chose the similes, (2) how they made a passage clearer, and (3) how easy they are to understand.

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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