The Pillars of the Earth Test | Final 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 do the townspeople of Kingbridge build to fend off William's army?

2. What does Alfred reveal to Jack that infuriates him?

3. Why is Alfred marrying Aliena?

4. What does Aliena suggest Richard should do with the bandits?

5. How many children do Jack and Aliena have?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Alfred come to see Jack after 10 years with no communication?

2. Describe what happens in Kingsbridge Cathedral on Whitunsday after William is confirmed as the earl of Shiring.

3. How is William's mismanagement of Shiring evident throughout the countryside?

4. Why is Jack angry with the conditions Philip gives him in order for him to be master builder of Kingsbridge cathedral?

5. What happens when Jack and Aliena bring the Weeping Madonna, which was a gift from Jack's friend, Raschid, to Kingsbridge?

6. What are the changes Alfred proposes for the cathedral when Philip names him as master builder?

7. Describe the scene between Jack and Alfred after Alfred tells Jack that his real father was hanged as a thief.

8. Why does Alfred force Aliena to sleep on the floor at the foot of the bed?

9. Why does Richard decide to join the Christian crusades fighting in the Holy Land?

10. Describe the young wife of William Hamleigh.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

1) Summarize the life of Prior Philip beginning with the death of his parents up to the point where he becomes Bishop of Kingsbridge.

2) Describe each eventful point in his life.

3) How does Philip react to each defeat and success?

4) How do his attitudes toward the church, morality, government, and his own spirituality change during the novel?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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