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. How many pages did the manuscript which Anne Stevenson wrote for Penguin Books contain?

2. What biography mentioned a cloth beneath Sylvia's head as she inhaled the gas fumes and a testimonial statement by her doctor that she had been in a dire mental condition?

3. A. Alvarez was initially much more impressed with Ted--thinking of Sylvia as __________.

4. What "friend" of Plath finally felt the freedom to express her true feelings for the poet by relating that she was a horrible wife and a martyr?

5. When was the publication date of The Journals of Sylvia Plath?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. What qualities of Sylvia Plath's work made her appealing to feminists?

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

4. What did Aurelia Plath have published regarding Sylvia after her death? Why?

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

6. Describe the house Sylvia rented in London. What were her impressions of the residence?

7. What did Ted Hughes write in the second edition introduction of The Journals of Sylvia Plath? When was it published?

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

9. What power did Olwyn Hughes have over the Plath Library? What was Malcolm's impression of her after working with her on the book?

10. Where did Olwyn and Malcolm go together in Part One: Chapter VII? What did Malcolm learn there?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the role that literary criticism plays in the publication of books. What impact do critics have on book sales and the public opinion of works?

Essay Topic 3

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

(see the answer keys)

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