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. What does Esther liken the potential choices she has in life to?

2. Why does Esther leave the movie premiere?

3. How does Ladies' Day determine what causes the girls' sickness?

4. Why does Esther hope she will be paired up with Lenny instead of Frankie?

5. What does Esther do as Lenny and Doreen dance?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How does Esther change from the beginning to the end of this chapter?

4. Describe the article that Esther's mother gives her from Reader's Digest ("In Defense of Chastity").

5. What is Eric's philosophy on sexual relationships?

6. Describe the events that lead to Esther's food poisoning

7. What leads Esther to be invited for lunch by Philomena Guinea?

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

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

10. What does Dr. Nolan tell Esther about shock treatments in this chapter?

Essay 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

This novel deals with the relationship between talent and mental stability. In your essay:

1) discuss how this relationship plays out in Esther and the other characters

2) state what you think Plath is saying about this relationship

3) comment on Plath's ideas. Is she right? Why or why not?

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

Essay Topic 3

In The Bell Jar Sylvia Plath provides a commentary on American women. Choose three major scenes or characters from the novel and:

1) describe them as they relate to women

2) explain what you think Plath was trying to say about women through this scene/character.

Be sure to cite specific examples from the novel to support your ideas.

(see the answer keys)

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