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 is the enemy in Wesley's speech in Act One?

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

3. What does Weston stack on the table?

4. According to Emma, what runs in the family?

5. Where does Wesley tell Weston his mother goes in Act One?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Wesley tell Ella as she is cooking in Act One?

3. Why does Ella want to go to Europe in Act One?

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

5. How does Weston describe how his father lives?

6. Why does Wesley want to go to Alaska?

7. What does Wesley compare Taylor buying their house to in Act Two?

8. What is Wesley doing at the beginning of Act Two?

9. How does Ella describe what it feels like when she learns Weston sells the house already?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Sam Shepard's play, "Curse of the Starving Class", can be classified as a family tragedy play. Explain why this categorization is appropriate or not. What occurs in the play that makes it a family tragedy? Is tragedy too strong of a word? If the play should be reclassified, what is a more appropriate description? Use specific examples from the text in the response.

Essay Topic 2

Research Sam Shepard's biography and life experiences. How does Shepard use his own life experiences and background in the play? What events, if any, does Shepard pull directly from his own life? Are Shepard's statements in the play aimed at anything in his personal life? Use specific examples from the play in the response.

Essay Topic 3

The real estate developer/lawyer Taylor is one of the play's minor characters, but he has a major influence on the play's main characters. Describe the influence Taylor has on each main character (Weston, Ella, Emma and Weston). Why is Taylor important to the play's plot? What, if anything, does Taylor symbolize? Use specific examples from the play in the response.

(see the answer keys)

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