The Waves 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. What "ceremony" does Bernard dislike so much?

2. What do the characters wish to do with the moment they share in the restaurant in Section 4?

3. What is the dominant image in the beginning of Section 2?

4. What is the name of the cook at school?

5. How does Bernard characterize his last day at school?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the novel's final image, and discuss its importance.

2. When the characters change locations in the text, it is not always noticeable. Identify why this is and the effect on the reader.

3. Why is it significant that Bernard is not the first speaker in Section 5?

4. What is the significance of Bernard's efforts to perpetually simplify?

5. Discuss Woolf's decision to use the passage of a single day as a metaphor for the varied lives of all six characters in the novel.

6. Which of the characters appears most at ease in Section 3, and why?

7. Which image becomes more dominant in Section 8's introductory vignette, and what do you think it signifies?

8. In Section 6, we encounter the three character who were omitted from the previous section. Describe their places in life at this point.

9. Describe how the characters feel during the dinner they share in Section 8.

10. The first thing the reader learns in Section 5 is that Percival has died. How did he die, and who does it seem to have the strongest effect on?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

When Jinny kisses Louis, only Susan is privy to the event, and this event should have only affected these three characters. But the loss of innocence pervades the whole novel. Write an essay which examines the theme of the loss of innocence, beginning with an analysis of "The Kiss" and its effect on the group.

Essay Topic 2

Compare and contrast the characters of Louis and Bernard, who seem to constantly sway between admiration and jealousy toward each other. Why do they pursue such separate life paths? What leads them to their major decisions? How do they find themselves at the novel's conclusion? What makes them arguably the two most similar characters in the text?

Essay Topic 3

Why does Bernard revel in solitude at the end of the text? What does this say about him, and what does it say about the group as a whole? Do you think there is any evidence that Woolf is attempting to create a more subversive message, one that tarnishes the value of unified groups and instead expresses that the kind of unity the characters had as children was unattainable ever since Jinny kissed Louis? It would also be prudent to consider Rhoda's death for this question.

(see the answer keys)

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