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 decide about her relationship with Constantin during their dinner date?

2. What keeps Esther and Doreen from attending the magazine party?

3. What course does Esther convince her college dean to exempt her from taking?

4. What does Esther think may have caused Buddy's TB?

5. What does Esther do while Mr. Manzi is lecturing in chemistry class?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the article that Esther's mother gives her from Reader's Digest ("In Defense of Chastity").

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

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

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

5. Why does Marco give Esther his diamond stick pin?

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

7. What does Esther decide about her friendship with Doreen the night of their visit to Lenny's apartment? What causes her to make this decision?

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

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

10. How does Buddy react when Esther falls while skiing?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In The Bell Jar Sylvia Plath provides a commentary on American women. Choose three major scenes or characters from the novel and:

1) describe them as they relate to women

2) explain what you think Plath was trying to say about women through this scene/character.

Be sure to cite specific examples from the novel to support your ideas.

Essay Topic 2

As The Bell Jar develops, so does the main character's mental illness. In your essay:

1) describe the progression of her illness

2) describe and explain the "red flags" that showed she was getting increasingly worse

3) comment on the role that the other characters played in her deterioration.

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

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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