The Pillars of the Earth 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. Why do the townspeople find the whole situation of the hanging strange?

2. Why does Peter of Wareham become angry with Prior Philip?

3. What happens to Tom's baby son after his birth?

4. To where does Abbot Peter transfer Prior Philip?

5. Where do Philip and his brother, Francis grow up after they are orphaned?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the business that Aliena begins when she gets the money her father left for her and Richard with a priest in Winchester?

2. Describe how Tom is hired to begin repairs of Kingsbridge Cathedral and what is the condition Philip sets about Ellen?

3. Describe the conversation the young men have about witnessing other hangings.

4. What does the condemned man do as the noose is placed around his neck?

5. Describe the condemned man's appearance.

6. What is the favorite pastime of the young boys who gather early in the marketplace?

7. What is the deal that Archdeacon Waleran makes with Philip after the death of Prior James, the Prior of Kingsbridge?

8. Summarize the location and outcome of the birth of Tom's third child.

9. Why does Abbot Peter transfer Prior Philip out of the monastery where he was born and where does he send him?

10. Summarize the actions of the townspeople before the hanging takes place.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

1) Summarize the building of the new cathedral at Kingsbridge from the time the old church is burned down to the completion of the cathedral many years later.

2) Include the architectural styles used by each of the three master builders that were hired throughout the years and the setbacks to the cathedral construction.

3) Describe the style of the completed Kingsbridge Cathedral and the master builder's design.

Essay Topic 2

1) Imagine you are an historian reading Pillars of the Earth. Would you see the story as historically accurate?

2) Use details from the story to support your answer.

3) What plot or setting descriptions would you change to make it more historically accurate?

4) Are the historical figures, such as King Henry and Thomas Beckett, depicted accurately? Support the answer with examples from the novel.

Essay Topic 3

1) Analyze the structure of the novel.

2) What is the central conflict that is carried forward through each part of the novel?

3) Summarize the plot's climax and resolution.

4) Are the characterizations in the story realistic?

(see the answer keys)

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