What Was She Thinking? Notes on a Scandal Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Zoe Heller
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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 is Steven in special needs classes?

2. What does Steven do outside before Sheba leaves in Chapter 4?

3. What description of Sheba swims into Barbara's mind at the beginning of Chapter 1?

4. What does Barbara tell Sheba to do about the Steven situation?

5. Why does Barbara believe she is the most qualified to tell Sheba's story?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Sheba convince herself that she is innocent in the beginning of the affair?

2. Describe Sheba's first few weeks at St. George's. How does she interact with the students, and what sort of teacher does she appear to be?

3. Why does Barbara state that she is telling Sheba's story?

4. What changes seem to come over Sheba when she ignores Steven for a week in Chapter 5?

5. What shocking news does Sheba call Barbara with in Chapter 8, and why is Sheba so upset by this?

6. What does Sheba first think of Steven when he comes to see her with his sketchbooks?

7. What problems does Sheba associate with having married Richard so young?

8. According to Barbara, what sort of students attend St. George's?

9. Why does Barbara think Sheba is first interested in getting Steven into her pottery class?

10. What does Barbara believe ultimately causes Richard and Sheba's breakup?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Socioeconomic class and status are brought up several times throughout "Notes on a Scandal." Barbara, the narrator, appears to be very interested in social class and makes many assumptions about people and their actions based on her knowledge of their social class. Discuss the role of socioeconomic status in "Notes on a Scandal," considering both the actual impact class status has versus the assumed impact.

Essay Topic 2

What role does love play in "Notes on a Scandal?" Who is motivated by love? Is love the major motivating factor for any of the characters? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

Examine and analyze the theme of lust in "Notes on a Scandal." What characters are driven by lust in the traditional sense? Which characters are driven by a sort of lust in an untraditional sense? What impact does lust have on the overall conflict of the novel?

(see the answer keys)

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