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. What does Prior Philip have the monks do when they go to the quarry?

2. What is the historical significance of the ship that flounders off Balfour?

3. Who catches the thief red-handed with the stolen silver chalice?

4. What question does Tom ask Ellen after staying with her for a time?

5. What is the favorite event for the young boys who gather in the marketplace?

Short Essay Questions

1. How do Aliena and Richard escape from the castle?

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

3. What is the vow that Aliena's father asks her to make when she and Richard visit him in prison?

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

5. What is the fate of the White Ship and its passengers after it sets sail from England in 1120?

6. What is the reaction of the townspeople as the man is led to the gallows?

7. Describe the condemned man's appearance.

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

9. Describe the design of the cathedral Tom proposes to build for Prior Philip.

10. Why does Lord William Hamleigh fire Tom from the job of building him a house?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

1) Interpret the feelings Aliena and Jack have for each other when they begin their relationship.

2) Are their emotions authentic? Are they truthful with each other?

3) Compare these emotions with how they interact later in the novel, after they become parents of two children.

4) What regrets do they have as their relationship progresses through the novel?

5) How does their relationship differ from the first part of the novel?

Essay Topic 2

1) Summarize the survival skills Ellen and Jack develop while living in the forest.

2) Include their methods of finding shelter, storing food, and hunting.

3) How do they protect themselves from bandits and wild animals?

Essay Topic 3

1) Compare the characters of Aliena and Richard.

2) Which character gives more to their relationship? Explain using examples from the novel.

3) How do their views differ on life, responsibilities, marriage, and duty?

4) Which character is more realistic in his or her view of life? Explain.

(see the answer keys)

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