The Waves Test | Final 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 are the characters doing as their monologues progress in Section 8?

2. Which of the characters appears most able to move on from the significant news in Section 5?

3. What time of day does the passage at the beginning of Section 5 describe?

4. In Section 8, who oddly compares herself to a dog?

5. What should the reader infer that Rhoda is thinking about at the end of her Section 7 monologue?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is different about Susan in Section 7?

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

3. Characterize the way Bernard appears in Section 5.

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

5. Elaborate on what Rhoda identifies as the problems the characters have faced in their lives in Section 8.

6. Describe how Susan appears in Section 6.

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

8. What are the characters doing at the beginning of Section 8, and why is that important?

9. How does the structure of Section 5 parallel the development of the characters?

10. Describe how Jinny appears in Section 6.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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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