Sorry this took so long to get mounted. I was denied access to my web pages again! To give you an idea of the kind of midterms I give, here's the example from the 46B class I taught a couple of years ago. On the first part, I didn't bother to try to format the list of works--it appears below, in this web version.

Good luck!


John Stenzel
English 46B
Midterm Exam--Winter '98

Sample Midterm From 46B

A. Match wits with this: Match the quotation with the work, placing the appropriate letter in the space provided. (1 point each; do at least FIFTEEN)

____ 1. And at the garden gate Colonel Bamfield waited for His Highness, and putting on a cloak and periwig, hurried him away to the park gate, where a coach waited that carried them to the waterside....

____ 2. ...just as they had ended this talk they drew near to a very miry slough, that was in the midst of the plain; and they, being heedless, did both fall into the bog.

____ 3. My son, advance Still in new impudence, new ignorance. Success let others teach, learn thou from me Pangs without birth, and fruitless industry.

____ 4. Thus sang the uncouth swain to th' oaks and rills While the still morn went out with sandals gray; He touched the tender stops of various quills, With eager thought warbling his Doric lay...

____ 5. For this, ere Phoebus rose, he had implored Propitious Heaven, and every power adored, But chiefly Love--to Love an altar built, Of twelve vast French romances, neatly gilt.

____ 6. None ever wished it longer than it is. Its perusal is a duty rather than a pleasure. We read ... for instruction, retire harassed and overburdened, and look elsewhere for recreation; we desert our master, and seek for companions.

____ 7. Your ladyship has frowned a little too rashly, indeed, madam. There are some cracks discernible in the white varnish.

____ 8. So clomb this first grand thief into God's fold: So since into his church lewd hirelings climb.

____ 9. A dungeon horrible, on all sides round As one great furnace flamed; yet from those flames, No light, but rather darkness visible Served only to discover sights of woe...

____ 10. A husband indeed is thought by both sexes so very valuable, that scarce a man who can keep himself clean and make a bow, but thinks he is good enough to pretend to any woman; no matter for the difference of birth or fortune, a husband is such a wonder-working name as to make an equality, or something more, whenever it is pronounced.

____ 11. For while so near each other thus all day Our task we choose, what wonder if so near Looks intervene and smiles, or object new Casual discourse draw on, which intermits Our day's work, brought to little, though begun Early, and th' hour of supper comes unearned!

____ 12. Thus blinded by my own vanity, I threw away the only opportunity I then had to have effectually settled my fortunes, and secured them for this world; and I am a memorial to all that shall read my story, a standing monument of the madness and distraction which pride and infatuations from hell run us into...

____ 13. I waked, she fled, and day brought back my night.

____ 14. The Emperor holds a stick in his hands, both ends parallel to the horizon, while the candidates, advancing one by one, sometimes leap over the stick, sometimes creep under it backwards and forwards several times, according as the stick is advanced or depressed.

____ 15. We ourselves esteem not of that obedience, or love, or gift, which is of force: God therefore left him free, set before him a provoking object, ever almost in his eyes; herein consisted his merit, herein the right of his reward, the praise of his abstinence.

____ 16. No law of that country must exceed in words the number of letters in their alphabet, which consists only in two and twenty. But indeed few of them extend even to that length. They are expressed in the most plain and simple terms, wherein those people are not mercurial enough to discover above one interpretation.

____ 17. And if each system in gradation roll Alike essential to the amazing whole, The least confusion but in one, not all That system only, but the whole must fall.

____ 18. All this my master very graciously consented to; and thus the secret was kept until my clothes began to wear out, which I was forced to supply by several contrivances, that shall hereafter be mentioned. In the meantime, he desired I would go on with my utmost diligence to learn their language, because he was more astonished at my capacity for speech and reason, than at the figure of my body, whether it be covered or no; adding that he waited with some impatience to hear the wonders I promised to tell him.

____ 19. Through many a dark and dreary vale They passed, and many a region dolorous, O'er many a frozen, many a fiery alp, Rocks, caves, lakes, fens, bogs, dens, and shades of death, A universe of death, which God by curse Created evil, for evil only good, Where all life dies, death lives, and Nature breeds, Perverse, all monstrous, all prodigious things, Abominable, unutterable, and worse Than fables yet have feigned, or fear conceived . . .

A. Lycidas
B. Samuel Johnson on Lycidas
C. Areopagitica
D. Sonnets
E. Paradise Lost, Book I
F. Paradise Lost, Book II
G. Paradise Lost, Book IV
H. Paradise Lost, Book IX
I. The True Levelers' Standard Advanced
J. Lady Halkett, The Memoirs
K. Samuel Johnson on Paradise Lost
L. Mac Flecknoe
M. Pilgrim's Progress
N. The Way of the World
O. Reflections on Marriage
P. Gulliver's Travels I
Q. Gulliver's Travels II
R. Gulliver's Travels IV
S. Roxana
T. Rape of the Lock
U. Essay on Man

B. Let me elaborate on that for a sentence (or three). Show you are familiar with the works by choosing among the quotations in section A. As appropriate, briefly identify the speaker, the situation, the significance to the work as a whole, and any stylistic or thematic points that you deem noteworthy. (3 points each. Do TEN.) Here and elsewhere, answers informed by considerations of language, theme and image will get fullest credit. You'll be graded not only on the correctness of your identification, but also on the strength of your analytical support. Be sure to write the number of the quotation in the space provided.

[blanks snipped]

C. Paragraph answer (7 points each. Do TWO) Use the next page, a blue book, your own paper, or blank paper provided.

1. Recall at least three names from Congreve's The Way of the World and show you know how their names correspond to their characters, to their roles in the plot, and to the concerns and conventions of Restoration drama.

2. Wit in one sense is the ability to see the similarities between things outwardly different, and the ability to differentiate outwardly similar things. Stephen Stralka asserts that Lycidas and Mac Flecknoe may have more in common than we might think on first consideration. In what important ways are these poems working within similar literary traditions, and what useful comparisons could you make between them? On the other hand, how do they clearly differ?

3. It's tempting to see Milton as being "of the devil's party without knowing it," that he has made Satan an attractive, heroic figure. In what important ways does Milton undermine and negate the seemingly heroic portrayal of Satan, and why is this significant for Milton and for us? OR--Gulliver seems to put the Houyhnhnms on a pedestal. In what important ways does Swift qualify or undermine Gulliver's idealization of the horses in Part IV of the Travels?

D. Essay. (31 points--Write on ONE of the following topics.) Be sure to write an essay that has a thesis, good support, strong organization, and sound grammar. I advise that you allocate time wisely and do some drafting before going back, editing for coherence, and polishing up. Use a blue book or the paper supplied; write your name on loose sheets, and we will staple everything together.

1. Milton, Bunyan, and Pope might be said to have tried to explain "the ways of God to Man," and thus to force readers to look hard and critically at their humanity and their society; Swift didn't talk much about God (how strange, for he was a man of the cloth!), but he might be said to have shared their broader concerns. Based on our reading and discussion this quarter, characterize the different styles and approaches of these four creative approaches to the problems of good and evil in the world, showing you are aware of genre, method, audience, structure, and style. Discuss advantages and disadvantages, the effectiveness of these writers' methods, in as much detail as possible, illustrating with specifics that show your knowledge of the works themselves, as well as the genres of epic, mock-epic, verse and prose satire.

2. You're sitting in the coffee house reading your Norton Anthology and a friend comes along, sees your syllabus and says, "Ugh! 'Restoration and Eighteenth Century Literature.' Sounds to me like Dead White Northern-European Males. Why bother?" With reference to our reading and discussion of at least four works, discuss ways in which studying this literature can and should make us think and learn about gender relations and human nature; feel free to address issues of class and race as they come up. Illustrate with specifics wherever possible, and by the time you finish you should be able to go back and articulate a defensible, supported thesis.