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. According to Emma, what runs in the family?

2. Who is Emma?

3. Where is Ella going to get money?

4. What does the "intruder" take in Act One?

5. What is missing from the refrigerator?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Emma fit into her picture of Taylor and Ella in Mexico?

2. Why does Emma not want to replace the front door?

3. How does Weston recognize the "poison" on his outlook?

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

5. Why is Weston not surprised that Emma is in jail?

6. Describe Ella's appearance when she enters in Act One.

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

8. Why does Weston not care about getting his money for selling the house?

9. For what are Emma's charts?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Sam Shepard published "Curse of the Starving Class" in the late 1970s. Explore how the play sustains its relevance in today's society. What universal problems does the Tate family encounter that today's families also cope with? What other instances retain their relevance in today's society? Use specific examples from the text in the response.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the meaning of the title, "Curse of the Starving Class". How is the title relevant to the story's plot? What predictions can the reader make previous to reading the play based on the title? What deeper meaning does the title assume? Use specific examples from the play 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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