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. 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 __________.

2. Where did Olwyn Hughes work until after Sylvia Plath's death?

3. The long and confused letter Janet Malcolm received from Olwyn in response in Part One: Chapter IV only reiterated her disdain for ____________.

4. When was The Bell Jar first published?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Aurelia Plath's intentions in having her daughter's letters published is implied to be in retaliation for what?

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

5. 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?

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

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

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

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

10. What two friends of Sylvia perpetuated the negative image of Ted Hughes? How?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the correlations between Anne Stevenson's life and that of Sylvia Plath. What similarities did these female writers share? What differences?

Essay Topic 2

Describe Sylvia Plath's relationship with Richard Sassoon. When did they meet? How long did they have a relationship? What ended it?

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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