A Delicate Balance: A Play 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. According to Tobias, Agnes will be the ________________ to plunge into any depths of madness.

2. From whom do Harry and Edna make their request?

3. Who is Julia's estranged husband?

4. Tobias is tired of Julia showing up at the house with __________________.

5. What does Tobias offer to do?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Agnes feel about Claire and how is that reflected in their communications?

2. What is so shocking about Julia's return to the group in the living room?

3. How does Tobias reach his breaking point with the bickering women this morning?

4. Why is Agnes so leery of Julia's arrival?

5. How does Edna retaliate against Julia for her rude behavior?

6. How does Claire retaliate against Tobias for asking her about Alcoholics Anonymous?

7. What is the setting for Act 3 and which characters are present as the scene opens?

8. What is the topic that supersedes Agnes's obsession with madness?

9. What insight does Agnes share with Tobias regarding his role in Julia's irresponsible behavior?

10. How do Tobias and Agnes deal with Julia's fit of hysterics?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Albee uses more than one instance of irony in the book. One example is the clarity with which the alcoholic Claire can view life. Cite at least two other examples you can identify in the play and note why they are examples of irony.

Essay Topic 2

Alcohol abuse seems to be an unnamed character in the book. How pervasive is the abuse? Why does it have such a prevalent place in the characters' lives? How does it affect the abusers? How does it affect those impacted by the abusers? Explain how an inanimate object or characteristic can be a character.

Essay Topic 3

Explain the role of married women in the 1960s when the women in the novel are living their married lives. What precedents do they feel compelled to follow? What restrictions do the have? What freedoms did they have that twenty-first century women do not have?

(see the answer keys)

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