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 Claire, _____________ is preferable to loss of love.

2. What are Harry and Edna wearing when they emerge from the bedroom?

3. What is the setting for Act 1?

4. Which of the following does Tobias not joke with Agnes about regarding her sanity?

5. Why do Agnes's actions upset Julia?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Tobias respond after hearing Harry's perspective on their friendship?

2. What does Julia want her father to do?

3. What incident serves as some comedic relief during another one of Julia's whining episodes?

4. How have Harry and Edna behaved since they have arrived at Agnes and Tobias's house?

5. What temporarily buoys the spirits of the people in the living room?

6. What gesture does Tobias offer to make for Julia regarding her marriage?

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

8. How does Claire respond to Tobias asking her about Alcoholics Anonymous?

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

10. How does Julia serve as the tipping point for Tobias's tolerance?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

The play seems to come full circle from Agnes's musings about going mad in the beginning of the play, to the end where Agnes says that people sleep at night because they are afraid of the darkness. ''They say we sleep to let the demons out--to let the mind go raving mad. . . . And when the daylight comes again . . . comes order with it.'' Is Agnes satisfied with the order of things as the play ends? Explain.

Essay Topic 2

Escape from reality is an important theme in the story. Cite at least three examples of how the characters attempt to escape from reality.

Essay Topic 3

Create a brief character study of Agnes. 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?

(see the answer keys)

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