The Rise of Silas Lapham 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 does Penelope Lapham think Tom Corey and Irene Lapham need to spend more time alone?

2. Which member of the Corey family is ill when they first meet the Laphams?

3. To where does Silas Lapham want to take Bromfield Corey for a fish dinner?

4. Why does Anna Corey think Tom's marriage to Irene Lapham would be worse than his joining the Lapham paint business?

5. After giving Tom Corey a history of the paint, where does Silas Lapham suggest the young man come to finish their business talk?

Short Essay Questions

1. What business proposals does Tom Corey suggest to Silas Lapham?

2. What is Lapham's childhood and family background, and how does this background shape his values?

3. What arguments does Anna Corey give her husband for opposing their son's marriage to Silas Lapham's daughter?

4. What do Tom Corey and his father find unusual about the beverages the Laphams drink and Mrs. Lapham's social entertaining?

5. In what different ways do Silas Lapham and Persis Lapham react to Bromfield Corey's visit to Silas Lapham's office?

6. How has Persis Lapham supported her husband and his business over the years and how does Lapham honor her for her support?

7. What information is revealed about Zerrilla Dewey in Chapter Eight and what does Walker the bookkeeper seem to imply about her relationship with Silas Lapham?

8. How does Silas Lapham feel about having Tom Corey work for him, and how does he feel about Tom's work?

9. Describe Bromfield Corey's life and how it differs from Silas Lapham's.

10. What indication is there in Chapter Ten that Tom Corey might prefer Penelope Lapham over her sister Irene?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the theme of self sacrifice in The Rise of Silas Lapham. Cite examples from the text to support your arguments.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the character of Zerrilla Dewey and how she represents working class women in the Gilded Age. What theme do you think William Dean Howells is trying to convey about working class women and their role in society through the character of Zerrilla and her troubled marriage? Cite examples from the text to support your arguments.

Essay Topic 3

Tears, Idle Tears is a novel that a number of characters, including Tom Corey and Penelope Lapham, read in the Rise of Silas Lapham. Discuss how the plot and characters of Tears, Idle Tears mirrors or parallels the course of Tom and Penelope's own romance. Cite examples from the text to support your arguments.

(see the answer keys)

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