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 does Marco remind Esther of?

2. What does Esther do when she returns to the Amazon the night that Marco attacks her?

3. What does Esther do to offend the driver of the first cab she rides in?

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

5. When does Esther say she found out Buddy was a hypocrite?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Who are Frankie and Lenny?

4. What is Esther's opinion of Betsy?

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

6. Who is Mrs. Ockenden?

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

8. What does Esther think makes her a neurotic?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

This novel deals with the relationship between talent and mental stability. In your essay:

1) discuss how this relationship plays out in Esther and the other characters

2) state what you think Plath is saying about this relationship

3) comment on Plath's ideas. Is she right? Why or why not?

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

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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