Dancing at Lughnasa 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. Why do the sisters stop dancing?

2. What does Chris want Michael to believe about his father?

3. What does Chris hear that Gerry Evans is doing in Dublin?

4. How many pairs of gloves must the sisters produce this week?

5. What happens to the Sweeney boy at Lughnasa?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Maggie notice about the pack of cigarettes Kate brought her, and why is it significant?

2. What does Maggie release for Michael to see?

3. What do you think Michael means when he talks of a widening breach between what seemed to be and what was?

4. What significance does Austin Morgan have in this story?

5. Why do you think young Michael felt unease rather than amusement or joy when his mother and aunts danced?

6. What does Maggie recollect about Bernie?

7. What is Maggie's reaction to hearing that her old friend Bernie O'Donnell is in town, and why does she react this way?

8. Why do you think the opening tableau shows Uncle Jack in his "resplendent" uniform, which is out of place in the play's action?

9. What does Agnes mean when she asks Chris, "Do you want to make a pagan of yourself?"

10. How far do the Mundys live from the rest of the village, and what significance is there in that distance?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Analyze what it means to you that young Michael's kites have faces that are cruel and grinning, and that they are not able to fly. Why do you think the playwright put this element into his play? What do these kites tell you about young Michael's feelings toward the women in his family? Toward life in general?

Essay Topic 2

Uncle Jack's uniform is an important symbol in this story. Analyze the appearance of his uniform in the mind's eye of young Michael and the rest of his family, and the appearance of his uniform at the end. What does the change represent? How has the family's view of Uncle Jack changed after he has been home for a few weeks?

Essay Topic 3

Maggie asks riddles of young Michael, and he never offers any possible answers, even when she chides him for being stupid. In the end, she herself has forgotten the answer to the riddle she poses. Analyze the playwright's use of riddles in this way. What do you think he is trying to say about Maggie? About Michael? About life?

(see the answer keys)

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