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. Who has Mrs. Willard promised to introduce Esther to in New York City?

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

3. Why had Esther visited her family doctor?

4. What does Buddy tell Esther she will want to abandon once she has children?

5. Why does Esther take her history book with her when she receives the phone call that Buddy is at her dorm?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Jay Cee (from Esther's perspective)

2. Why does Mr. Willard leave Esther alone with Buddy at the sanatorium?

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

4. Describe the Amazon.

5. Why is Esther surprised when Buddy comes to visit her at college?

6. Why is Esther upset when Buddy tells her he is no longer a virgin?

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

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

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

10. What does Esther think makes her a neurotic?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The Bell Jar is written from Esther's first person point of view. Write an essay examining the novel's point of view focusing on:

1) the narrator's bias

2) the amount of information given based on this point of view

3) comment on how the novel would be different if it was told from a different point of view.

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

Essay Topic 2

In The Bell Jar there the author uses recurrent symbolism to represent aspects of Esther's story. Select two of the following symbols ( mirrors, water, babies, the bell jar) and:

1) describe how the author uses this symbol at at least two points in the story

2) discuss what the symbol represents about Esther at that point in the story

3) discuss what the overall message the author is trying to send about Esther using this symbol.

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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