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 does Esther trade her robe to Betsy for a skirt and shirt?

2. How does Esther feel about the cadavers that Buddy shows her?

3. Why does Esther resolve to "ditch Buddy Willard for once and for all"?

4. Why does Buddy ask Esther whether she'd like to live in the city or the country?

5. How does Esther get from Lenny's apartment to the Amazon?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

6. Describe Buddy's letter to Esther (that is waiting for her when she gets home).

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

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

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

10. According to Esther, what is her mother's opinion of her interest in becoming a writer or editor?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Discuss the significance of the novel's title. Be sure to include:

1) a definition of "bell jar"

2) the relationship between the bell jar and Esther

3) what the bell jar represents about Esther's character.

Cite several 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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