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. The Bell Jar is based in part on Plath's own life and, in particular, her suicide attempt in what year?

2. A. Alvarez claimed that Sylvia Plath did not intend __________.

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

4. Toward the end of her life, according to Alvarez, Sylvia Plath developed a problem with ___________.

5. 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?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How did Janet Malcolm compare her writing to Anne Stevenson's in college? What was Stevenson's career like?

3. What did critic Ronald Hayman write about Bitter Fame?

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

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

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

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

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

9. How did Anne Stevenson find she related to Sylvia Plath in their youths?

10. What was A. Alvarez's first impression of Ted and Sylvia? How did that opinion change?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the suicide of Sylvia Plath and its impact on Ted Hughes. What led to Hughes' separation from Plath?

Essay Topic 2

Describe and discuss the life and career of the author. What led Janet Malcolm to approach this subject and 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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