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 does Kate bring Chris from town because she is "far too pale?"

2. How does Michael scare Maggie?

3. What does Kate say is the only thing Gerry Evans does well?

4. What feeling does the radio create in Michael?

5. Why doesn't Gerry Evans bring Michael a bicycle?

Short Essay Questions

1. The song Maggie sings says that if the Irish don't vote for De Valera, they'll be like Gandhi and his goat. What does this mean?

2. Why do you think the playwright chose to have adult Michael speak the lines of child Michael instead of having two actors?

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

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

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

6. We as readers are told that Rose is "simple." How does the playwright make that clear to the audience?

7. Why does Chris call Danny Bradley a bastard?

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

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

10. After Agnes blows Michael a kiss, she says it was the wrong thing to do. Why would it be the wrong thing to do?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Compare and contrast the Ryangan idea of marriage with what Kate calls the "holy sacrament of matrimony." Judging from the main characters and their romantic relationships, make a statement comparing the costs and benefits of both kinds of marriage. Cite quotations from the play to support your thesis.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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