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 Esther do to help herself feel better after the botched night with Doreen and Lenny?

2. How does Ladies' Day determine what causes the girls' sickness?

3. Why is Esther surprised when Buddy calls her at college?

4. What faux pas does Esther make with the bellman when she first arrives at the Amazon?

5. What surprises Esther about Buddy's appearance when she first sees him at the sanatorium?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Esther convince the college to exempt her from the chemistry course requirement?

2. Describe the situation that leads Esther to leave Lenny's apartment

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

4. Describe the Amazon.

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

6. Describe the events that lead to Esther's food poisoning

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

8. Who is Mrs. Ockenden?

9. What does Esther think makes her a neurotic?

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

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

Discuss the significance of the novel's title. Be sure to include:

1) a definition of "bell jar"

2) the relationship between the bell jar and Esther

3) what the bell jar represents about Esther's character.

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

Essay Topic 3

Imagine that the novel ended with the hospital review board telling Esther she must stay at the asylum for additional treatment. Write an essay:

1) critiquing their decision (Do you agree or disagree with it? Why?)

2) arguing for the appropriate type of treatment she should receive in the hospital based on her previous experiences.

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

(see the answer keys)

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