The Bell Jar 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. Doreen tells Lenny she will go to his apartment only if---

2. Which of the following best describes Lenny and Doreen's dancing?

3. Where does Doreen put Esther's clothes to help her forget about them?

4. At what age does Esther say she stopped being "purely happy"?

5. Why does Esther think that Mr. Willard is telling her that he and his wife had always wanted a daughter?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the Amazon.

2. Why does Marco attack Esther?

3. Why does Esther decide to take a bath when she returns to her hotel?

4. How does Buddy tell Esther about losing his virginity?

5. What activities does Esther consider taking up after finding out she was not accepted into the writing course?

6. Why does Mr. Willard leave Esther alone with Buddy at the sanatorium?

7. What news does Mrs. Greenwood deliver to Esther when she picks her up from the train station? How does Esther react?

8. Who is Mrs. Ockenden?

9. Describe what runs through Esther's head when she and Constantin are visiting the UN.

10. Describe the story that Esther reads in the short story book from the Ladies' Day magazine

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Imagine that the novel ended with the hospital review board telling Esther she must stay at the asylum for additional treatment. Write an essay:

1) critiquing their decision (Do you agree or disagree with it? Why?)

2) arguing for the appropriate type of treatment she should receive in the hospital based on her previous experiences.

Cite several specific examples from the novel to support your ideas.

Essay Topic 2

Throughout The Bell Jar, Esther moves between the present and the past. Select three of the flashback scenes and:

1) describe what happens in each of these scenes

2) discuss the significance of each scene in Esther's life

3) discuss how the flashback scene relates to the "present" time scene it is embedded in.

Cite several specific examples from the novel to support your ideas.

Essay Topic 3

In The Bell Jar, a few minor characters have a major impact on the story line. Select two of the following minor characters to analyze: Doreen, Joan, Buddy Willard, Mrs. Greenwood and Jay Cee. Discuss:

1) the personality (character traits) of this character

2) the relationship between this minor character and the major characters in the story

3) the impact of this character on the story line--How does s/he influence the overall story line? How would the story be different if this character was removed?

(see the answer keys)

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