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 is Buddy eager for Esther to read the poem "Florida Dawn"?

2. What does Mrs. Greenwood convince Esther she should do since she will not be taking the writing course?

3. How many times did Buddy have sex with the waitress from Cape Cod?

4. What is Esther's opinion of the movie she and the other girls are invited to see?

5. Which of the girls at the Amazon does Esther spend the most time with?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. What is Esther's opinion of Betsy?

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

8. Why does Jay Cee want Esther to come into the office instead of attending the fur show?

9. What happens on the hill behind the chemistry lab at Yale?

10. What does Esther think makes her a neurotic?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

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.

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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