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. Who does Bernard refer to as "the authentics" in Section 4?

2. What are the boys doing when the monologues in Section 2 return to their perspective?

3. Who refers to all the happenings as "scuffling and hubbub"?

4. Which of the children struggles with mathematics?

5. What is all that Neville possesses?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the group act differently when Percival arrives in Section 4?

2. Describe in your own words the scene at the very beginning of Section 1, and offer an idea of why Woolf would begin this novel in such a way.

3. Briefly analyze how the characters have developed as a group in the first two sections of the novel.

4. Describe how Neville and Bernard are different as they appear in Section 3.

5. What is the significance of having each character introduce themselves by identifying a specific image in Section 1?

6. Describe how Section 2 is structured.

7. Bernard is clearly becoming the most central of the six characters. Describe his characteristics as he appears in Section 3.

8. Describe the way Section 3's introduction, the italicized vignette, fits in with the rest of Section 3 as a whole.

9. How are Jinny and Rhoda characterized in Section 3?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Evaluate the success or failure of Woolf's writing style in this novel. The use of intertwining monologues is clearly the most significant decision Woolf made when preparing to write this text, but it is now your turn to critique whether or not the style is effective. If the characters are always speaking, why doesn't Woolf compose a play? Why do some characters have their monologues featured, while other monologues are easy to glaze over while reading? Does Woolf succeed in creating a cohesive consciousness out of these six voices? If so, where do you find it at its most effective in the text, and if not, then what does Woolf succeed in creating with this stylistic method?

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

Evaluate the novel's final image. It is an appropriate one? What is the significance of both the waves as they appear in these vignettes, and as a title? Are there other instances of waves appearing in this novel, rather than in their literal form? There are many instances where a character's interior monologue describes something as being wave-like. Does the novel structurally parallel waves?

(see the answer keys)

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