The Blues I'm Playing 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. What is the ethnicity of the person Oceola receives piano lessons from?

2. What does Oceola think of Mrs. Ellsworth's interest?

3. What is the occupation of the person who recommends Oceola to Mrs. Ellsworth?

4. How many children does Mrs. Ellsworth have?

5. Which two characters are introduced first?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Mrs. Ellsworth do after Oceola's response to her suggestion?

2. What does Mrs. Ellsworth say to Oceola concerning Pete at the end of "The Blues I'm Playing"?

3. What does Oceola think about Mrs. Ellsworth's attitude at the end of the story?

4. What does Oceola continue to do that Mrs. Ellsworth does not approve of?

5. What does Mrs. Ellsworth announce to Oceola after their first meeting?

6. Describe the soprano that Mrs. Ellsworth does not take interest in.

7. What information causes Mrs. Ellsworth to become disgruntled after her investigation into Oceola's boarder?

8. What does Mrs. Ellsworth find out about the boarder through her inquiries to Mr. Hunter?

9. How did Oceola learn piano?

10. What does Oceola think of the artists she meets in Europe?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Harlem causes tension in the artist/patron relationship between Mrs. Ellsworth and Oceola. Both characters attach certain meanings to the places they prefer. Mrs. Ellsworth tries many different things to fix this problem, but she does not ever fully succeed in her efforts. Why does Mrs. Ellsworth dislike Oceola's residence in Harlem? How does Mrs. Ellsworth try to remove Oceola from Harlem, and how does Oceola respond to these actions? Make sure you answer each part of the question and use examples from the story to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Music is the thread that weaves this story together. Mrs. Ellsworth prefers classical music to jazz and the blues. Oceola plays what she feels because music is something that is woven into her life, not compartmentalized the way Mrs. Ellsworth sees it. What do the blues and jazz mean to Oceola? What do they mean to Mrs. Ellsworth? Describe how Mrs. Ellsworth and Oceola differ in their views on how music should play a role in their lives. Make sure you answer each question and use examples from the story to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Mrs. Ellsworth is fascinated with Oceola; she wants to be needed by her, and she wants to know everything about her. Why is this unusual? Why do you think Mrs. Ellsworth is fascinated with Oceola? What does Oceola represent for her? Make sure you answer all questions, using examples from the story to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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