Curse of the Starving Class 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. How does Emma describe Taylor?

2. What is Wesley cleaning up in the beginning of Act One?

3. What ailment does the animal that Wesley brings into the kitchen have?

4. What does Weston put into the refrigerator in Act One?

5. What animal does Wesley say he hears in Act One?

Short Essay Questions

1. Into what does Ellis want to turn the house?

2. What does Wesley do when he comes in after taking the lamb outside?

3. Why does Weston not let Emma do his laundry?

4. What alternate way does Ella suggest her husband can enter the house?

5. To whom does Weston plan to sell the house?

6. Why do Ella and Emma argue about belonging to the "starving class" in Act One?

7. Why does Ella say Emma cannot leave the house?

8. Why does Weston think Wesley and Emma are spoiled?

9. Why is Wesley not pleased that Ella calls the cops?

10. What is Weston doing at the beginning of Act Three?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Knowing that "Curse of the Starving Class" is one of Sam Shepard's family tragedy plays, explore the statement the playwright is making about family in the play. What does Shepard want the audience and reader to understand and learn about family? How does Shepard use the Tate family's dynamics to make a larger statement on family relationships and dynamics in general? Use specific examples from the text in the response.

Essay Topic 2

At the end of the play, Wesley begins to assume his father's personality and role by changing into his clothes and taking on his father's earlier attitude. Describe Wesley's transformation throughout the play, starting at the beginning when he is worried about the family and his father's reactions to the end where he takes on more of his father's personality than his own. Use specific examples from the play in the response.

Essay Topic 3

Several of the play's characters seek revenge or have revenge sought upon them for various actions. Explore the theme of revenge in the play. What characters are seeking revenge and for what? What characters are the object of that revenge and why? Use specific examples from the play in the response.

(see the answer keys)

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