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 children struggles with mathematics?

2. Who witnessed the kiss in the garden through a chink in the hedge in Section 1?

3. How does Wolfe describe the birds' song at the beginning of the first section?

4. What effect does Percival's presence have on the characters when he arrives in Section 4?

5. Who does Bernard refer to as a "drunken sailor?"

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe how Section 2 is structured.

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

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

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

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

6. Describe how each character is presented in Section 1.

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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