The Sixteen Pleasures Test | Final Test - Hard

Robert Hellenga
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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 does Volmaro seem to Margot at first?

2. What does Madre Badessa offer Margot?

3. Who does Margot want to say goodbye to in private?

4. About what does Volmaro say he is being generous?

5. How old was Alessandro when he fell in love with a movie star?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why do Margot and Sister Gemma have a discussion about religion when visiting Sister Agape?

2. What do Sandro and Margot do and what is Margot's response?

3. Describe Margot's meeting with the Bishop.

4. How does Sandro rationalize his deciding not to propose to Margot?

5. What is Father Francisco's directive concerning the nuns disturbing him?

6. What has Margot done to restore Aretino?

7. What does Margot send to the Bishop and how does she convince him that it is Aretino?

8. How does Margot learn that Sandro has deceived her about Volmaro and what does Margot decide to do about selling the book to Volmaro?

9. What does Margot ask Sandro as far as their visit to Volmaro and what is his reply?

10. Why does Margot feel nervous when she returns to the convent after the first time she and Sandro make love and what is the outcome?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Characters are an integral and important part of almost all novels. Discuss one of the following in relation to The Sixteen Pleasures:

1. Compare/contrast the characters of Margot at the beginning of The Sixteen Pleasures versus Margot at the end of The Sixteen Pleasures. How are they similar? How are they different? How does she change? Do you believe she is a better person at the beginning of The Sixteen Pleasures or at the end? Or do you think she has not changed? Be specific and give examples.

2. Compare/contrast the characters of Alessandro and Tony Reynolds. How are they similar? How do they seem different? Which do you like more? Why? Which one seems more of a well-rounded character?

3. Thoroughly analyze how three of the secondary characters help drive the plot and what their contribution is to the storyline. Are any of the secondary characters unnecessary? Indispensable? Which of the secondary characters are likable? Which are either unlikable or even despicable? Be specific and give examples.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze the theme of growth in The Sixteen Pleasures. Consider the following questions as you write: What characters are most concerned with growth? Why? What are some symbols of growth? Symbols of rigidity? What characters seem rigid? Which characters seem to learn and grow from their mistakes? Which do not?

2. Trace and analyze the theme of religion in The Sixteen Pleasures. Which characters embrace religion? Why do they? Which characters seem to have no interest in religion? Why? How influential is the Catholic church upon the behavior of the main characters? The minor characters? How important is religion in the plot? Why?

3. Trace and analyze the theme of art and artistic expression in The Sixteen Pleasures. What is Alessandro's view of art? Margot's? Madre Badessa's? The Monks? Margot's father? Why is art and artistic expression important to some characters? What does art contribute to the plot of The Sixteen Pleasures? How would the plot be affected without art?

Essay Topic 3

Margot refers to the poem her mother had loved by Robert Frost entitled "The Road Not Taken." Margot realizes that there is no "other road." Her only life is the one that she is living now. Discuss the following:

1. Thoroughly analyze and give a reader response to Robert Frost's poem, "The Road Not Taken." Consider such things as imagery, metaphor, syntax, rhythm, and of course, meaning.

2. Take your analysis of "The Road Not Taken" and trace and analyze how it is relevant to The Sixteen Pleasures. What characters are most concerned with the road not taken? What character(s) have irretrievably lost something important by taking a different fork? What character(s) cannot recover from a poor choice made at various forks?

3. Discuss one or two of your own "roads not taken." Do you still regret taking one road versus another in a particular situation? Do you think it would be good to let go? Can you go back and travel the other road? What "difference" has the choice made for you?

(see the answer keys)

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