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 Jay Cee suggest that Esther do to distinguish herself from other women applying to be magazine editors?

2. What disturbs Esther about the drug that the birthing mother is given?

3. What surprises Esther about the English program at her mother's college?

4. How does Esther know Buddy?

5. Who is the only man that Esther ever considered losing her virginity to?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. 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?

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

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

6. How does Esther convince the college to exempt her from the chemistry course requirement?

7. Describe the Amazon.

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

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

10. Describe the movie that the girls go to see from Esther's point of view

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

At the end of The Bell Jar, Esther is about to be released from the asylum. Write an essay discussing:

1) whether or not she is ready to leave the hospital

2) what the future holds for her

3) how you think she'll do in the "real world".

Use specific examples from the novel to come up with and support your ideas.

Essay Topic 2

The Bell Jar is often considered a "coming of age" story. In your essay:

1) describe Esther's journey from adolescence into adulthood

2) describe and comment on the events in her life that help her transition between adolescence and adulthood

3) discuss how successful her transition was. Is she an adult at the end of the novel? Why or why not?

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

Essay Topic 3

As The Bell Jar develops, so does the main character's mental illness. In your essay:

1) describe the progression of her illness

2) describe and explain the "red flags" that showed she was getting increasingly worse

3) comment on the role that the other characters played in her deterioration.

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

(see the answer keys)

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