The Rise of Silas Lapham 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. Where is Irene Lapham when Anna Corey visits the Laphams in Chapter Twelve?

2. What competition arises for Silas Lapham's paint business?

3. What does Nanny Corey think the novel discussed at her family's dinner party should have been called?

4. When Lapham apologizes to Tom Corey at the office after the Coreys' dinner party for his behavior at the party, what does Tom blame for the incident?

5. What note does Penelope send to Tom Corey at the beginning of Chapter Twenty Two?

Short Essay Questions

1. What mistakes does Silas Lapham commit at the Corey dinner party?

2. What strategies does Silas Lapham consider in Chapter Twenty Three for easing his financial woes?

3. Describe Irene's reaction to the news that Tom Corey prefers her plainer sister, Penelope, to her.

4. Why do the Coreys decide to invite the Laphams to dinner if they don't really like them?

5. What is Tom Corey's reaction when he learns that the Laphams have believed he prefers Irene to Penelope?

6. What is the reaction of Bromfield and Anna Corey to the news that their son loves Penelope rather than Irene Lapham?

7. What opinion does Penelope Lapham give Tom Corey about the novel Tears, Idle Tears?

8. What opinion does Anna Corey form of Penelope Lapham during her visit with Persis and Penelope?

9. Describe Silas Lapham's financial status at the end of Chapter Twenty One and how it compares to his financial status at the beginning of the novel?

10. What opinion does Persis Lapham cling to about Milton Rogers despite being presented with evidence to the contrary, and what does this indicate about her character?

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

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.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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