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

2. Why have the characters gathered in Section 4?

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

4. Which of the characters muses on a book that he wishes to keep when he is older?

5. What is Susan doing when she begins her major monologue in Section 3?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why doesn't Percival's death have a strong effect on Bernard in Section 5?

3. Describe how Louis appears in Section 6.

4. How is Section 6's opening description distinct, and what should the reader expect from the rest of the section?

5. Characterize Neville's state of mind as he appears at the end of Section 6.

6. What is significant about the description at the beginning of Section 9?

7. Why is Susan so distressed after she saw Jinny kiss Louis?

8. What is the major event that occurs in Section 4, and why is it significant?

9. Describe the differences in Jinny and Rhoda's experience's while at school in Section 2.

10. Why does Bernard travel to Rome in Section 7?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay which compares and contrasts any two of the sections' introductory vignettes. Pick one vignette which is typical of the whole novel, and one which is atypical (there are two in particular). What separates these vignettes? Include as many reasons as you can think of as to why Woolf would change her method at such a point in the text.

Essay Topic 2

Write a detailed essay that argues that Percival is either: 1) an intrinsic character to the novel, made only more important by the fact that he doesn't speak and dies at the novel's midpoint or 2) a kind of outlier or distraction, both for the characters in the text and the reader. In the course of this essay evaluate Percival's significance, his effect on each of the characters, and the role his death plays in shaping other character's lives.

Essay Topic 3

What is the significance of Woolf choosing the passage of a single day as a metaphor for the passage of a group of lives from childhood to old age and even death? What about the metaphor is apt, and what does not seem proper? Why does Woolf include such a vast variety of images that do not always play into the central meaning of the text? What is the importance of the italicization of these passages? Elaborate as much as you can.

(see the answer keys)

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