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. How many cards are dealt to the dealer in the gin game?

2. According to Weller in Act 1, Scene 2, how are the percentages looking?

3. What does the family of Gladys Maye do to Weller that annoys him?

4. What mistake does Fonsia make in the first hand of the first game that spoils the round?

5. How old is Fonsia's oldest grandchild?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

3. Prior to the deal being made in Act 1, Scene 2, how would you characterize this scene - as more of a comedy or a tragedy?

4. Why might Fonsia have thought that 'this day' was going to be particularly bad in Act 1, Scene 1?

5. In Act 1, Scene 1, what does the condition of the stage setting suggest about the financial standing of the residents?

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

7. What do the costumes of the two characters at the opening of Act 1, Scene 2 suggest?

8. What health condition of Weller's is Fonsia becoming concerned about at the end of Act 1, Scene 2?

9. What confession does Weller make about himself as it relates to his interaction with the family of Gladys Mayes?

10. What 'admiral... minor virtues' did Fonsia's father personify, and how do you think they might contrast with Weller's character?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Is Fonsia vindictive? Is Weller a failure? Please support your responses with examples from the play.

Essay Topic 2

How much do the two characters value truth? Which character hides the truth, which one lies outright, and what does this suggest about one over the other?

Essay Topic 3

The play was first performed in 1976. How do the relationships between men and women, as exemplified by the characters in the play, reflect a broken system? More specifically, what outmoded social roles are followed by the characters and do they contribute to their animosity towards one another?

(see the answer keys)

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