The Painted Veil 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. What does Walter threaten to do if Kitty will not accompany him to Mei-tan-fu?

2. In Hong Kong, why is Kitty vague about Walter's job to others?

3. Why has Mei-tan-fu been frequently in the newspapers?

4. How does Kitty feel when she sees Walter and realizes he knows of the affair?

5. What determines Kitty's social position in Hong Kong?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Dorothy Townsend's appearance as given by Kitty in Chapter 3.

2. Why does Kitty claim to not care if Walter does "kick up a row" about her affair with Charlie?

3. After Walter's death, as Kitty contemplates her future how does she feel?

4. How does Waddington try and comfort Kitty about Walter's death?

5. What one thing does Kitty desire to do for Walter?

6. What does Sister St. Joseph think about Waddington?

7. When Kitty receives a letter from her mother in Port Said, it causes her to reflect on their relationship. What surprising observation does she realize about the shift in her relationship with her mother?

8. What was different about Maugham's writing process on The Painted Veil compared to his other works?

9. After noting Charlie's response to Walter's ultimatum, what does she come to see was Walter's motivation in making it?

10. How many reasons does Charlie give for a potentially calm reaction from Walter upon finding out about their rendezvous?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

A recurrent theme in The Painted Veil is that of vanity, and how characters react when their vanity is wounded or bruised. Compare and contrast vanity as exhibited by Kitty, Charlie and Walter and how it either shifts throughout the novel or remains the same. Discuss how each character reacts when their vanity is wounded and what this reaction infers about that character.

Essay Topic 2

In the novel Waddington makes a statement that he enjoys talking to Kitty because,"you (Kitty) and I (Waddington) are the only people here who walk quite quietly and peaceably on solid ground. The nuns walk in heaven and your husband-- in darkness." Explain what Waddington meant by this statement. Do you believe that this is an accurate analogy of the characters. Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

Throughout the novel Maugham sets forth different views on the purpose of life as given by several characters. Compare and contrast the specific view on the purpose of life by two or more characters. Give specific textual information on how these characters exhibit and come to these views. Also in the conclusion address whether or not Maugham selects one as being THE view on the purpose of life.

(see the answer keys)

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