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

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 2

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.

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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