The Amen Corner 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. Before the curtain rises in the first act, there are street sounds including laughter, cursing, and a radio. What other sound is heard?

2. What sits on top of the piano in the church in the first scene?

3. Who calls Luke a "bad boy"?

4. Who's reportedly been keeping bad company in Act I?

5. What is located stage left in "The Amen Corner"?

Short Essay Questions

1. In Act II, what does David remember about the time right before he became separated from his father?

2. What gossip concerning David does Brother Boxer share with his wife and Sister Moore in Act I?

3. Describe the opening of Act III.

4. Describe Sister Douglass from Act II.

5. In Act II, what is Margaret's position about music in the church?

6. What is David's fear of staying with his mother in Act III?

7. Margaret compares the story of King Hezekiah's story to a possible situation of the congregation. What situation does she compare the biblical story to?

8. In Act I, what is the story from Margaret's sermon?

9. Odessa tries to convince Margaret to return to church in Act III and win back her congregation, but Margaret says she can't. Why?

10. In Act III, what does Margaret mean when she tells David that she's seen young men like him become the lowest of the low?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the last act, Margaret is upset at the loudness coming from the church. After telling her that she always told them to praise the Lord with fervor, Brother Boxer asks Margaret, "Where's all your fervor done gone to, Sister Margaret?" Fervor is another word for passion. Compare and contrast the ideas about passion for the church and passion for another person in "The Amen Corner."

Essay Topic 2

James Baldwin is noted for writing about African American issues during his lifetime. Although his characters in "The Amen Corner" are African American, the central theme is religion. During Act III, Margaret tells her son about "boys like you down home" and that "I seen them go down." She presents religion to her son as a way to escape this path. Do you believe Baldwin wrote about African American issues in this scene or others in "The Amen Corner"? Give examples to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

In Act III, Margaret mentions carrying slops and scrubbing floors in asking "is that what I been slaving for all these long, hard years." Discuss the role of poverty in "The Amen Corner."

(see the answer keys)

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