Up at the Villa Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does Mary explain sleeping so late?

2. What does Mary force herself to do?

3. What does Mary say in response to Rowley's explanation about Karl's death?

4. What does Mary look for as soon as Nina leaves the bedroom?

5. What does Nina tell Mary as Mary is about to leave?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Maugham chooses to write the novel as a third person, impersonal narrator. Discuss the following:

1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this novel being written in the third person, impersonal narration?

2. Do you think the novel would be more effective in a different point of view? Which one if so? If not why do you think the impersonal narrator works the best?

3. Do you think the narrator in Up at the Villa is reliable, i.e., do you believe the narrator is completely unbiased? Explain your response.

Essay Topic 2

Edgar had been a family friend from the time of Mary's youth. She says that when she was nineteen, her mother pointed out that Edgar was in love with her and Mary had dismissed the idea, saying that Edgar - at forty-three - was "an old man." Discuss the following:

1. Do you think many marriages where there is over twenty years difference in age can be successful? Explain your answers with examples from your personal knowledge and from the text.

2. What do you think is the likelihood that marriage to Edgar would be fulfilling and happy for Mary? Give examples from the text to support your statements.

3. What do you think is the likelihood that marriage to Mary would be fulfilling and happy for Edgar? Give examples from the text to support your statements.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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