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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 do we know when August is alone in his study?
2. How is Kirsten related to Cynthia?
3. Where does August say that the remains of an extensive village were discovered?
4. Delia talks of a soothsayer in Dombey and Son. Who changed the future in the book?
5. What house is shown in the first slides in Act 1?
Short Essay Questions
1. Which character was created by Lanford Wilson for the actor Tanya Berezin? Why?
2. Which character wishes he/she could see the future? How is this revealed in the play?
3. 'If you save a man from drowning, you're responsible for him the rest of his life.' Who quotes this proverb in the play? In regards to whom?
4. What is the climax of the play? Where does this occur?
5. Describe the character of Cynthia. Who is she in relation to the main character? How old is she? What is her profession?
6. What does Delia compare her book to? Why?
7. Which character has a history of miscarriages in his/her family? How has that affected this character?
8. What fact about Jean's character does Dan ask that August not reveal to the others early in the play? Why?
9. What is the name of the ancient civilization that is being excavated in the play? What are some of the key characteristics of that society that are mentioned in the play?
10. What is the primary motif used in the play? How does this motif symbolize the main character, and how does it relate to the theme?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1Give 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 2Define "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?
Essay Topic 3Why 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?
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