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. What is the "double blessing" Bernie O'Donnell has?

2. How old is Michael when this story takes place?

3. Where is Bernie O'Donnell's husband from?

4. What is Wild Woodbine?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. How has Chris brought shame upon the Mundy family?

2. What does Maggie recollect about Bernie?

3. When Irish music comes from the radio, which of the sisters begins to dance first, and in what mood does she dance?

4. How does Kate explain Uncle Jack's strange behavior?

5. What is significant about the names Nora and Nina that Bernie O'Donnell gave to her twin daughters?

6. Why does Kate become angry when Rose repeats the idea that twins are a double blessing?

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

8. What does Maggie mean when she tells Michael that someday he's going to fill some woman's life with happiness?

9. Why do you think the parish priest doesn't want to look Kate in the eye since Uncle Jack came home?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Ceremonies are important in this story. Select two of the ceremonies that are described or enacted to compare and contrast. Possibilities might be the silent dance "wedding" of Chris and Gerry Evans, the exchange of hats between Uncle Jack and Gerry Evans, the wild Irish dancing of the five sisters, the Ryangan ceremonies to celebrate the harvest, or the festival of Lughnasa itself.

Essay Topic 2

What difference does the fate of the Sweeney boy, who was burned in the festival of Lughnasa, make to the story? Cite what was believed to have happened and what actually happened. Why do you think this detail is included in the play? Is the boy a metaphor? If so, what does he represent?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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