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

2. What does Ella have in her hand when she enters in Act One?

3. Where should Emma never purchase sanitary napkins, according to Ella?

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

5. What does Weston go to check on in Act One?

Short Essay Questions

1. For what are Emma's charts?

2. Why does Weston say Wesley should not envy his outlook?

3. How does Weston describe how his father lives?

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

5. Why does Wesley tell Weston he has to run?

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

7. Why does Weston say he goes off "for a little while"?

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

9. Why does Ella tell Weston he should be a preacher?

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

The lamb Wesley and Weston bring into the house to rid of maggots also plays a significant role in the play. What does the lamb represent? Does the lamb take on different meanings for different characters? Why is the lamb important to the story? Use specific examples from the play in the response.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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