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. What does August say that they were racing against early in Act 1?

2. How does Delia describe the temporary secretary she hired to transcribe her book?

3. Which character won a national spelling bee as a kid?

4. What does Dan ask August not to reveal to the others in early Act 1?

5. What does August state on the recorder that he intends to do at the beginning of Act 1?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Explain the relationship of Dan and Jean. How are they related and how long have they known each other?

3. Who do we discover is having an affair in Act 1? Who else knows about the affair?

4. How does Jean feel about Chad's advances in Act 2? What does August say regarding Chad?

5. The Mound Builders is unique in its depiction of time. Explain the two different periods of time which are illustrated in the play and how this differentiation is made clear to the audience (and reader).

6. Describe how Delia's perception of the human eye as a child relates to her perceptions about the world today.

7. Who is suspiciously holding the flashlight in the blackout at the end of Act 1? Why?

8. What is a God-king?

9. What is implied by August's description of Cynthia as "an ex-relation by marriage?" What literary term would this comment be considered?

10. Is the mask that was discovered made of gold? Why does August state that it is?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Compare and contrast the characteristics of Jean and Delia. How do they relate to each other and to other characters throughout the play? How are their appearances similar or different? Compare their outlooks on life, their philosophies and religious beliefs. What other characters in the play do they most reflect?

Essay Topic 3

Define "aestheticism." How does this term relate to the characters in The Mound Builders? Which characters would you describe as governed by "aesthetic?" Which are not? Why?

(see the answer keys)

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