The Mound Builders 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. Jean asks Delia in Act 1 Part 5 if she happens to have what?

2. Where does Dan attend college?

3. How many houses does Cynthia surmise there might have been in the village?

4. Jean says that in one village six men were laid out ceremonially with what cut off?

5. How many villagers does Dan say supposedly were in Cahokia?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does August suggest to Cynthia regarding Delia in Act 1? Who else has dealt with Delia in this way?

2. What elements of Delia's character are revealed before she appears in the play? What literary term is defined by its use to provide background and inform the readers about the plot, character, setting, and theme of the essay/story?

3. What is a God-king?

4. Who wrote the poem that Dan recites in Act 1? What significance is the poem to the play?

5. Who is the character named Chad? How does he relate to the other characters in the play? What is his position in relation to the house and the excavation site?

6. Which character's father was a physiologist? Describe the father's office from the perspective of that character.

7. In the opening of the play, August speaks into a tape recorder. To whom is he speaking and why?

8. Which character was created by Lanford Wilson for the actor Tanya Berezin? Why?

9. Dan says early in the play that there are many reasons for building mounds in ancient societies. What are some of these?

10. Where does the character Delia arrive from? Where have her travels taken her? What is her reaction to her new surroundings?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Why does Lanford Wilson choose to set this play in two different times and places? What effect does this acheive? How does this choice relate to the theme of the play?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the Chinese proverb "When someone saves a man from drowning, he is responsible for him the rest of his life." What does this refer to in the play? What does it foreshadow?

Essay Topic 3

Give the characteristics of a Tragic Hero. How is August the Tragic Hero of The Mound Builders? What characteristics does he share with the ancient Greek idea of Tragic Hero?

(see the answer keys)

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