|Name: _________________________||Period: ___________________|
This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. What does Beatrice read about in the newspaper?
2. Who is the person screaming upstairs after Beatrice places a phone call in Act 1?
3. Which word does the playwright use to describe Beatrice's tone when speaking to Nanny?
4. Which of the following statements best summarizes the final scene of Act 1?
5. Tillie recites the half-life of which of the following substances?
Short Essay Questions
1. Why does Beatrice refuse to allow Tillie to call the doctor when Ruth falls into a seizure?
2. Why does Beatrice decide not to attend the science fair?
3. Briefly describe Beatrice's recurring nightmare.
4. Describe the relationship between Ruth and Beatrice.
5. How would you characterize Janice Vickery's presentation at the science fair? What does this scene do for the mood of the play?
6. What does Miss Hanley think of Beatrice?
7. What is Beatrice's opinion of the school that Tillie and Ruth attend?
8. What is the cause of Ruth's emotional episode during the thunderstorm?
9. Why do you think Tillie's appearance at the science fair is so important to Ruth?
10. Why is Beatrice offended during her second phone conversation with Mr. Goodman?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
Discuss the passage in which Beatrice calls herself the "original half-life." Does Beatrice have valid reasons for claiming this? What does this statement say about her attitude toward her daughters? How does this statement relate to the play's main themes? Can parallels be drawn between the true definition of a half-life and Beatrice's own life?
Essay Topic 2
Is Zindel's play still relevant to today's reader? Why or why not? Would Beatrice's circumstances be any different in today's world? If the play were set in present time, would it be as plausible that Beatrice is so limited in her options? Would Tillie's interest in science make her a social outcast today? Why or why not? Today, would others (school officials, state agencies) be more likely to intervene on behalf of Tillie and Ruth, and to protect them from Beatrice? In what other ways is the play "dated"? Are there any aspects of the story or characters that seem to be specific to the time period in which the play was written?
Essay Topic 3
In what way do dreams influence and inform the characters in Zindel's play?
a) Discuss Ruth's nightmare about Mr. Mayo. What kind of impact does this nightmare have on Ruth?
b) Discuss Beatrice's nightmare about riding the horse wagon into a silent neighborhood. Why does this dream frighten Beatrice?
c) Discuss the theme of shattered dreams in the play. Which character or characters has dreams that are never attained? What effect does this have on this character?
d) Which character or characters have given up on their dreams? Why?
This section contains 1,178 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)