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. Which of the girls is first to speak in Section 2?

2. Who asserts, "One moment does not lead to another" in Section 4?

3. Who asserts, "The words of authority are corrupted by those who speak them"?

4. What image is Susan reminded of at the end of her monologue in Section 3?

5. Who utters Section 4's final words, "Now Percival is gone"?

Short Essay Questions

1. Overall, what should the reader take away as most significant from Section 1?

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

3. What is significant about displaying the children in school in the novel's first section?

4. Briefly analyze Neville's attitude towards religion.

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

6. As the characters appear in Section 2, do you feel that they are becoming more or less self-aware? Briefly explain your answer with relevant examples from the text.

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

8. Why does Woolf use a line or two of monologue rather than dialogue to introduce the children in Section 1?

9. Characterize Bernard's attitude towards Louis as described in Section 3.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay that details the significance of setting in this novel. We are exposed to both the country and the city, the classroom and the church, and spend a fair amount of time in cafés and restaurants. The setting in the introductory vignettes are also of particular significance. Examine the discrepancies in descriptions of settings between the monologues and the vignettes, and evaluate who, if any, of the characters have a particular fascination with setting.

Essay Topic 2

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.

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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