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 Gerry Evans think the radio is when he hears it?

2. What shame does Chris bring on the family years before?

3. What unusual stage convention involves the boy Michael?

4. Which of the sisters is first to stop work and dance to the radio music?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. How has Uncle Jack brought status to the Mundy family?

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

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

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

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

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

7. What does Maggie release for Michael to see?

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

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

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

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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