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 leave the movie premiere?

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

3. Why had Esther visited her family doctor?

4. Which of the following does NOT adorn the waiting room at the sanatorium?

5. Why does Esther like Doreen?

Short Essay Questions

1. Contrast Esther's and Buddy's feelings about his diagnosis

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

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

4. Why is Esther so enamored with the rich foods she is served at the Ladies' Day luncheon?

5. Why does Esther decide to take a bath when she returns to her hotel?

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

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

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

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

10. Who is Mrs. Ockenden?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Romantic relationships have a major impact on Esther's development throughout the novel. Choose two of the men who Esther has relationships with (even short relationships) and:

1) describe the relationship

2) discuss the impact that this relationship had on Esther

3) analyze what the author is saying about romantic relationships and their impact on women in general.

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

Essay Topic 2

There are several characters who influence the person that the narrator becomes. Select the two characters who you believe have the greatest impact on her development and:

1) describe each character's actions or beliefs as they relate to Esther

2) discuss the impact of this character on Esther's life and personality

3) discuss why you selected each particular character. What about each character made him/her more of an influence on Esther than others?

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

Essay Topic 3

The Bell Jar is a thinly veiled autobiography of a period in Sylvia Plath's life. Based on articles read in class about Plath:

1) compare the author's life with Esther's

2) note areas where the author steps away from autobiography. Comment on why she did this.

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

(see the answer keys)

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