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. Who does Ella call the previous night?

2. What does Ella cook on the stove?

3. What alternate way to enter the house does Ella mention in Act One?

4. What type of shoes is Welsey wearing at the beginning of Act One?

5. What color are Ella's gloves?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe the setting of Act One.

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

4. According to Weston, what is the trouble with too much comfort?

5. How does Weston feel connected to the rest of his family in Act Three?

6. What news does Ella have about the house when she returns from meeting with Taylor in Act Two?

7. How does Ella plan to get the money to go to Europe?

8. Where does Emma think Taylor and Ella went in Act Two?

9. Why does Wesley think it is okay that Emma wants to leave home?

10. Where does Emma says she is going to go when she plans to leave the house in Act One?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In examining the Tate family throughout the play, Emma seems more similar to Weston, her father, and Wesley seems more like Ella, his mother. Describe how Emma and Weston are similar and how Wesley and Ella are similar. Are these similarities expected? How does each relationship influence the plot of the play? Use specific examples in the response.

Essay Topic 2

Weston's story about castrating lambs and the eagle eating the discarded testes occurs more than once in the play. Why is this story important? What does the story represent? What does the story mean to each character that tells it? Be sure to reference specific examples from the text in the response.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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