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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 two languages are spoken during Reta's childhood?
2. What does Reta discover behind the furnace that belonged to the previous owners?
3. Whose personality is Reta worried about developing in her novel?
4. What is undrinkable according to Colin?
5. What kind of woman does Reta realize she cannot create for a heroine in her novel?
Short Essay Questions
1. Describe Reta and Lois's relationship.
2. How does the American election results in Florida that Tom, Christine, and Natalie watch relate to Norah's absence?
3. How does Reta respond to the death of Mr. Scribano and how is it significant?
4. How are Reta's feelings about sex related to her writing about Alicia and Roman?
5. Why does Danielle believe that Norah has embraced her powerlessness in society by living as a homeless person?
6. As Reta and Arthur have their heated discussion, what three things happen that interrupt them that provide comic relief to the serious conversation?
7. Describe life in the Winters' household.
8. Why does Reta wake up with anxiety about cleaning her house?
9. According to Gemma Walsh, Reta's friend who has been appointed Chair of Theology, the Christian faith is balance on the words "already" and "not yet." Why does Reta find this significant?
10. Why does Reta sign her letter to Dennis Ford-Halpern, "Yours, Rita Orange d'Ville"?
Essay Topic 1
How does Shields portray heroines in the novel? Respond to the following:
1. What characters can be regarded as tragic heroines?
2. Discuss Reta's ideas about heroines and heroism.
3. How are the heroines in the novel in opposition to society?
Essay Topic 2
Discuss the role of writing in the novel, responding to the following questions:
1. What is the function of Reta's writing in portraying her ideas about the world?
2. Do Reta's novels and letters serve the same purpose? Why or why not?
3. How does Danielle's writing compare with Reta's in terms of its significance?
Essay Topic 3
Discuss the role of conflict in "Unless." Discuss Reta's conflict with society. Discuss Norah's conflict with society.
This section contains 1,519 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)