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. Why does Jody call Esther?

2. What does Lenny's apartment look like to Esther?

3. Which of the girls at the Amazon does Esther spend the most time with?

4. Where do Buddy and Esther go after the Yale Junior Prom?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Esther's opinion of Betsy?

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

3. Compare Constantin and Buddy.

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

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

6. 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?

7. How does Esther change from the beginning to the end of this chapter?

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

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

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

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 narrator talks about Joan being Esther's double. Compare and contrast these two characters focusing on:

1) their personality traits

2) their progression towards mental illness

3) their progression towards recovery from mental illness.

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

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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