Harvey 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. What are Veta Simmons and Ruth Kelly talking about?

2. What does Dr. Lyman Sanderson posit as the reason why Veta Simmons came to Chumley's Rest?

3. What is Myrtle Mae Simmons' attitude toward Elwood Dowd?

4. What is Veta Simmons' reaction whenever Elwood Dowd's invisible friend's name is mentioned?

5. How does Elwood Dowd describe Harvey to Dr. William Chumley's wife?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the nurse, Ruth Kelly.

2. What does Elwood Dowd keep trying to do over and over again, only to be interrupted?

3. Describe Elwood Dowd's feelings toward Ruth Kelly.

4. What does Dr. Lyman Sanderson think is best for Veta Simmons?

5. What does Veta Simmons tell Dr. Lyman Sanderson that makes him think she's the crazy one?

6. What do we learn about Elwood Dowd in this first scene of the play?

7. Veta Simmons explains to Dr. Lyman Sanderson that Elwood Dowd has some quirks, including drinking. What does this imply about Elwood Dowd?

8. Why does Veta Simmons ask her daughter to be especially nice to Ethel Chauvenet?

9. Why do you suppose Elwood Dowd insists on introducing Harvey to everyone?

10. When Veta Simmons asks Elwood Dowd to wait for her in the parlor, what do you think she wants to talk to him about?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Given the bits of dialogue and sporadic moments of "belief" from Veta Simmons, do you think she has ever really seen Harvey or not? Please support your thesis with reasons based on the text. If she had seen Harvey, why does she wish Elwood Dowd to not see the creature?

Essay Topic 2

Given the way in which the play ends and the final attitudes of the characters, do you believe that, within the context of the story, Harvey was a real entity? Why or why not? Does Harvey have to be real in order for the play to be effective? Why or why not? Please provide examples from the text to support your position.

Essay Topic 3

Elwood Dowd's personality is a key component of this play, perhaps moreso than any other event that happens. He remains constant, no matter what is going on around him. What is Elwood Dowd's personality like? Do you attribute his state of mind to being apathetic or ambivalent to the people in his life or his surroundings? Why or why not? Has he truly discovered something that the other characters don't know? If so, what is it? Please provide support from the text.

(see the answer keys)

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