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. Which two characters are introduced first?

2. What book does Mrs. Ellsworth get?

3. What was the financial situation for Oceola's family?

4. Where did Oceola and her mother move after Oceola attended college?

5. What did Oceola try to save up for in her teenage years?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Mrs. Ellsworth provide Oceola with during the beginning of their artist/patron relationship?

3. What news does Oceola have for Mrs. Ellsworth when she comes back from a trip?

4. What kind of music does Oceola end up playing for Mrs. Ellsworth at their last meeting in the story?

5. What happened the last time Oceola played for Mrs. Ellsworth?

6. Describe Pete Williams.

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

8. What belief of the artists, specifically, does Oceola have a problem with while she is abroad?

9. What does the last chapter of "The Blues I'm Playing" represent?

10. How did Oceola support herself before she met Mrs. Ellsworth?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Usually, a clear transformation can be seen in the characters of piece of a literature, but it is not so apparent in "The Blues I'm Playing." Have Oceola and Mrs. Ellsworth transformed in any way? How has Mrs. Ellsworth changed, and how has she stayed the same? How has Oceola changed, and how has she stayed the same?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Marriage is usually a very happy occasion, but Mrs. Ellsworth reacts unhappily to news of Oceola's engagement. There are various reasons that could explain why she is so unsupportive of the engagement. List some of those reasons, and explain why. Why does Mrs. Ellsworth think Oceola's career will be over once married? What did marriage mean to Mrs. Ellsworth in her own life? Make sure you answer all questions using examples from the story to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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