Up at the Villa 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. How did Mary feel about Matthew?

2. Why does Karl Richter take the job at the restaurant as a violinist?

3. What does Mary learn when Edgar arrives?

4. What did Mary's mother point out to Mary when Mary was 19?

5. Why is Mary Panton at the villa?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does the Colonel think of Edgar's prospects in his career?

2. What sort of arrangements does Edgar make with Ciro?

3. What is passed around at the end of the party and what does Mary do?

4. What are the topics of conversation between Rowley and Mary?

5. Why is Mary conflicted about attending the party?

6. How does Mary begin to respond to Matthew's drinking?

7. What does Mary point out about Rowley's reputation and what is his response?

8. What does narration say of the villa in which Mary is staying?

9. How has Mary been spending her time lately and what bearing does that have to do with Mary being at the villa?

10. How does Mary end up driving Rowley to his hotel and what happens?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In chapter 4, the conversation between Karl and Mary turns to age and he says that he's twenty-three. She seems wistful, saying that he has the opportunities of youth in front of him, but Karl says that he's imprisoned by poverty. He admits to having no real plans for his future and presents a picture of hopelessness. Discuss the following:

1. Do you think Karl is truly "imprisoned" by poverty? Why or why not?

2. What do you think Karl could do to break out of the prison of poverty? Why do you think he is either unable or unwilling?

3. Why do you think it is so hard to move out of poverty either then or now? What do you think it takes to move from poverty to plenty or even great wealth?

4. Is your personality such that you think you would be one of the few who do manage to break out of poverty if you were very poor? Explain how you might differ from Karl.

Essay Topic 2

In chapter 4, when Karl and Mary are walking in the garden, Mary is suddenly beset with the idea of giving him the gift of a sexual encounter and they go back into the house together. Discuss the following:

1. Do you think Mary has thought through the idea of having sex with Karl long enough?

2. Can a one-time, sexual encounter with a stranger be a gift? Do you think it would be something that is kind and loving to do?

3. Other than making Karl feel good for a few hours, could Mary's gift be of any long term value?

4. Do you think Karl is ungrateful to not just accept Mary's gift and willingness to be kind to a stranger?

Essay Topic 3

There are a number of interesting questions raised by this book--questions that Maugham may have wanted the readers to consider and think through carefully. Discuss the following:

1. What does the term "author agenda" mean?

2. Name one idea/concept you think may have been a part of the author's agenda. Analyze that idea throughout the book and discuss Maugham's probable agenda concerning that idea.

2. Do you think writers who have an agenda for writing should point it out in a preface?

3. How often do you think fiction is written with a clear agenda in mind by the author?

(see the answer keys)

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