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. Why had Esther visited her family doctor?

2. What does Esther do to let Constantin know she is interested in having sex with him?

3. What nickname does Doreen give Betsy?

4. Why does Esther's mother ask her about what happened to her face?

5. Why does Esther say she would never marry Buddy Willard?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the birth scene that Esther and Buddy witness from Esther's point of view

2. Describe the situation that leads Esther to leave Lenny's apartment

3. Describe the sanatorium where Buddy is receiving treatment for TB.

4. What does Esther decide about her friendship with Doreen the night of their visit to Lenny's apartment? What causes her to make this decision?

5. Why is Esther upset when Buddy tells her he is no longer a virgin?

6. How does Jay Cee attempt to cheer Esther up the day of the photo shoot?

7. Describe Esther and Hilda's conversation at breakfast.

8. Why is Esther surprised when Buddy comes to visit her at college?

9. How does Buddy react when Esther falls while skiing?

10. What is Esther's standing joke with her grandfather about caviar?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The Bell Jar is a commentary on the mental health system in the US. In your essay:

1) describe how the mental health system appears in the novel

2) discuss what Plath is saying about the system.

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

Essay Topic 2

The narrator talks about Joan being Esther's double. Compare and contrast these two characters focusing on:

1) their personality traits

2) their progression towards mental illness

3) their progression towards recovery from mental illness.

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

Essay Topic 3

Esther's family live has a subtle but important effect on the changes that she undergoes throughout the novel. Discuss:

1) Esther's family dynamics

2) the impact of Esther's family life on her personal life

3) how Esther's life would have been different if both of her parents had been alive.

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

(see the answer keys)

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