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. Who is the author of the Aztec poem that is recited in Act 1?

2. Which character says, in Act 1, "We'd be working somewhere else if our work here wasn't important?"

3. What does Dan proceed to do after Delia's arrival in Act 1?

4. How is Kirsten related to Cynthia?

5. What does Dan say his roommate studied in college?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who is Professor August Howe? How old is he? What is his profession?

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

3. Where is Chad at the end of the play?

4. What is the climax of the play? Where does this occur?

5. What topic do the characters Delia and Dan bond over late in Act 1? How do their stories connect?

6. What does August say blinds a man "to the passing moon?" What does he mean?

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

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

9. Describe the character of Cynthia. Who is she in relation to the main character? How old is she? What is her profession?

10. Describe the relationship between Jean and Chad. Why does he show her the model in Act 1?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the metaphor of the Chinese Puzzle Box as it relates to Delia's novel and to the play. How does it reflect the excavation? How does it reflect August? What is found in the last box?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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