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. To what friend of the Hughes was William Stanley Merwin married?

2. 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?

3. How many words did Ted Hughes cut from Linda Wagner-Martin's manuscript?

4. Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath were separated by the fall of what year?

5. A. Alvarez noted that toward the end of her life, Sylvia's once reserved persona was replaced with an aggressive one, most apparent when she was doing what activity?

Short Essay Questions

1. Which biography of Sylvia Plath did Malcolm find to be the best? What criticism did the book meet?

2. What did Anne Stevenson do with the manuscript she had been commissioned to write about Sylvia Plath for a series at Penguin Books?

3. What friend of Sylvia Plath's commented negatively about her life and death in Part One: Chapter II?

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

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

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

7. How did Sylvia's demeanor and image change from her youth to her death?

8. 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?

9. What lecture did Malcolm read of Anne Stevenson's defense of her biography in Part Two: Chapter I?

10. What memoir did A. Alvarez write about Sylvia? What was Ted Hughes' response?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe and analyze the relationship between Sylvia Plath and Olwyn Hughes. What were Malcolm's first impressions of Olwyn like?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the aftermath of Bitter Fame's publication. Should Anne Stevenson have published the book, considering her apprehension about its validity? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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