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

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

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

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

5. What grade does Esther earn in her physics class?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. What do the voices in Esther's head tell her as she sits in the park contemplating suicide?

6. What is Esther's opinion of Betsy?

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

8. Compare Constantin and Buddy.

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

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 a commentary on the mental health system in the US. In your essay:

1) describe how the mental health system appears in the novel

2) discuss what Plath is saying about the system.

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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