The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail 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 Henry do when he catches Ellen writing notes once again?

2. Mother again laments Henry's strangeness, and what does she hope?

3. In what town is the play set?

4. Why is the lighting on the empty areas of the set weak?

5. How does Ellen find Transcendentalism?

Short Essay Questions

1. Where does Lydian send Edward and Henry?

2. How is Ellen supportive of Henry at his brother's funeral?

3. How does the act close?

4. What might be the reason for Lydian's suggestion that Henry should leave while Waldo is away in England?

5. What does Edward tell his mother when he and Henry return? What is his reasoning for this?

6. How are Henry's Sunday rituals very different from many in town?

7. How does Henry become Edward's tutor?

8. How does Henry react to how Bailey handles his time in jail?

9. How does Henry know what work needs to be done for Waldo and Lydian?

10. What does Baily ask of Henry? What is Henry's response?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

One of the most important elements of Henry's character is his irreverent sense of humor.

Part 1) Give an example from the play showing his sense of humor.

Part 2) How does Henry use his sense of humor to reveal his beliefs?

Part 3) As the first act progresses, Henry's use of humor becomes less about wit and more about bitter social or political commentary. Give an example from the play to support this statement.

Essay Topic 2

The events of the first act develop Henry as an individualist who believes deeply in personal freedom.

Part 1) How is Henry an individualist?

Part 2) What is Transcendentalism?

Part 3) How does Transcendentalism influence Henry's belief in personal freedom?

Essay Topic 3

The war in Vietnam was fought in large part by young black men who were unable to buy their way out of or otherwise evade the draft. These black soldiers were, in essence, enslaved by the army to fight, and while many white draftees were able to escape from military service.

Part 1) How do the playwrights, whether intentionally or unintentionally, parallel this knowledge in the play?

Part 2) Compare the Vietnam War to the wars mentioned in the play.

Part 3) How might Henry have reacted to this knowledge about the Vietnam War? Why?

(see the answer keys)

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