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. The tone between Agnes and Claire can be characterized as ________________________.

2. Who overhears what Agnes has been saying about Claire?

3. Why are the people in the room happy to see Harry and Edna wearing their coats?

4. Why does Agnes leave the room?

5. Overall, Tobias feels ____________ about Claire's life.

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Agnes ask of Tobias regarding Julia's marriage?

2. What does Agnes consider to be a woman's responsibility in a marriage?

3. What does Agnes reveal about her previous night's sleep?

4. How does Agnes exhibit that she is so out of tune with her daughter's distress?

5. What role does Agnes feel she has in Julia's continuing disappointments?

6. How does Agnes distance herself from the responsibility of how to manage the people in the house?

7. What is the state of Agnes and Tobias's marriage?

8. What is Julia looking for from Tobias?

9. What is the setting for Act 1 of A DELICATE BALANCE?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explain the symbolism of Julia's bedroom. What does it mean for Julia? What does it mean that Harry and Edna have barricaded themselves in the room? Are there any other significant meanings that the bedroom adds to the story?

Essay Topic 2

Create a brief character study of Julia. What does she look like? What are her positive personality traits? What are some of her negative characteristics? What are her hopes and fears? What motivates her--if anything--at this point in her life?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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