The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes 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 reprinting of letters, in which Sylvia wrote to her mother and which displayed her nice daughter side, was published by Plath's mother?

2. Anne Stevenson explained in Part Two: Chapter I that she had been commissioned to write a story about Sylvia Plath in a series for Penguin Books called __________.

3. In the first publication of The Journals of Sylvia Plath, Hughes commented how in the last several years of her life, Sylvia had found ______________.

4. What literary genre emphasizes the intimate, and sometimes unflattering, information about details of the poet's personal life, such as in poems about mental illness, sexuality, and despondence?

5. When was Sylvia Plath born?

Short Essay Questions

1. How old were Sylvia and Ted when Sylvia died? How did she die?

2. What correspondence did Malcolm have with Olwyn Hughes in Part One: Chapter IV? What was illustrated through the letters?

3. What happened between Linda Wagner-Martin and Ted and Olwyn Hughes?

4. What portrait of Sylvia Plath did Anne Stevenson paint in her biography of Sylvia? Why did critics refute that image?

5. What struggle did Ted face after the death of Sylvia Plath?

6. What is Plath's book The Bell Jar about? What was Sylvia's mother's reaction to the work?

7. Ted Hughes wrote two introductions to The Journals of Sylvia Plath. What did he write in the first introduction, and when was this edition published?

8. What was Anne Stevenson's response at a meeting of the University Women's Club in London where she was being taken to task for her portrayal of Sylvia in her book?

9. What did Olwyn Hughes offer Anne Stevenson if she would write a biography about Sylvia?

10. What was Sylvia Plath's response to her mother's criticism of her dark works?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe Dido Merwin and her critical response of Bitter Fame. What were the main points of the biography which were attacked and why?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the two introductions of The Journals of Sylvia Plath and analyze the introductions of each. What differences are in the work of Ted Hughes in the book?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the coming-of-age period during the 1950s of Sylvia Plath. How did the public and critics respond to Plath's poetry? What impact did she have on women during the period in which the feminist movement began?

(see the answer keys)

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