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. From whom do the Laphams receive a letter at the beginning of Chapter Twenty Two?

2. Who does Irene mention frequently in her letters from Dubuque?

3. What does Persis Lapham fret about after receiving Anna Corey's dinner invitation?

4. Who does Persis Lapham find crying in Chapter Seventeen?

5. Why does Silas Lapham decide not to sell his new house?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How do the Laphams react to the dinner invitation from the aristocratic Coreys?

3. What moral dilemma does Silas Lapham have over Rogers's proposed business deal?

4. Where does Irene go after learning the truth about Tom Corey's feelings for her, and what do her letters indicate about her activities there?

5. Describe the Civil War experiences Silas Lapham relates to the other guests at the Coreys' dinner party.

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

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

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

9. Describe the business deal Silas Lapham and Milton Rogers make regarding the mills.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the mistaken romance of Irene and Tom Corey. What factors make Irene think Tom is interested in her? What factors make the Coreys and Laphams think Tom is interested in Irene? What factors indicate Tom is really interested in Penelope? Cite examples from the text to support your arguments.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the concept of inherited wealth versus earned wealth as depicted in the novel. How does William Dean Howells depict each type of wealth in the novel, and what do you think he is saying about the effects of each type of wealth on those who possess it? Cite examples from the text to support your arguments.

Essay Topic 3

The Rise of Silas Lapham contains a number of instances of foreshadowing. Cite at least three examples of foreshadowing in the novel and how it is used to indicate events to come.

(see the answer keys)

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