The Gin Game Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

D. L. Coburn
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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 mistake does Weller make in the card game at the end of Act 1?

2. What happened to Fonsia's husband?

3. What game is Weller playing at the opening of the play?

4. Why does Fonsia think Weller might have gone crazy?

5. What does Weller blame his relationship with his children on?

Short Essay Questions

1. How would you characterize the questions Weller makes to Fonsia, and how do they propel the first scene of the play?

2. What does the attire of the two characters suggest about their respective attitudes in Act 1, Scene 1?

3. Why don't "we have to worry about [Fonsia's] memory any more?"

4. What is knocking?

5. Towards the end of Act 1, Scene 2, Weller begins misinterpreting what Fonsia says. How do these misinterpretations move the play?

6. In Act 1, Scene 2, Weller states that "half of them are catatonic... and... the ones who do talk make you appreciate the ones who don't." Who is the quote in regards to, and what is it about the talking that bothers both characters?

7. In Act 1, Scene 2, why would Fonsia's father turn over in his grave, according to Weller?

8. How does the scoring, according to the Hollywood style, work in gin?

9. What does Fonsia's childhood suggest about her character?

10. In Act 1, Scene 2, what according to Weller "seems to happen quite a lot to [Fonsia]," and how could this be seen as helpful to the writing of the play?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The play is considered a tragi-comedy. How does the playwright balance the tragic aspects of the play with the comic?

Essay Topic 2

Why is Weller so driven to play cards? Why is winning against Fonsia so important for him?

Essay Topic 3

How are the 'entertainments' sources of annoyance, not diversion, for Weller?

(see the answer keys)

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