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. Why does Claude at first not find his painting of the Dead Child?

2. What distresses Christine when Claude returns home from the Salon?

3. Who generally shows up on varnishing day?

4. To stay close to Claude and fight her rival, the painting, what does Christine decide to do?

5. When Christine suggests they go away somewhere to be happy, what is Claude's reply?

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 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 Passy...as 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 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay of at least two typed, double-spaced pages on the topic of Belief in the Intelligence of the Public. Point one of the essay should include the various reactions to Claude's Open Air painting. Point two should bring in an example like the reaction of the public to the invention of the airplane. Point three should be a more philosophical evaluation of public opinion in general.

(see the answer keys)

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