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. Who comes to rescue Esther when she passes out in the bathroom of the Amazon?

2. What trait does Buddy have that Esther thinks would make him a good teacher?

3. What does Jay Cee suggest that Esther do to distinguish herself from other women applying to be magazine editors?

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

5. Why does Esther feel depressed when she returns to the Amazon?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How does Jay Cee attempt to cheer Esther up the day of the photo shoot?

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

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

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

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

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

9. 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?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Esther's family live has a subtle but important effect on the changes that she undergoes throughout the novel. Discuss:

1) Esther's family dynamics

2) the impact of Esther's family life on her personal life

3) how Esther's life would have been different if both of her parents had been alive.

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

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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