On Golden Pond Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Ernest Thompson
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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 invites Ethel and Norman to dinner?

2. Who does Norman yell to to ask him/her to open the door?

3. In what year is the house at Golden Pond built?

4. Where is Chelsea living now?

5. What happened to the screen door?

Short Essay Questions

1. Give a brief description of the setting at the opening of the play.

2. Who visits Norman and Ethel and what do they leave there?

3. What other elderly couple is mentioned in this scene and what does Ethel say about them?

4. Describe the setting at the opening of this scene.

5. What is both a foreshadowing and a "frame" for the play that occurs at the end of this scene?

6. What does Charlie say about Chelsea and children and what does this possibly reveal about Charlie as a person?

7. Who is the elderly couple in the play and where are they arriving at the opening of the play?

8. Though Norman makes no blatant prejudiced statements about Jews, what he does say implies his bigotry. In your own words, what statements seem to suggest that Norman is prejudiced against Jewish people?

9. What does Charlie suggest about the broken screen door; what is Ethel's reply and why do you think she responds the way she does?

10. What makes the reader think that Charlie still feels some interest in Chelsea?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

One of the very first things the reader becomes aware of is that a probable theme of this play is the idea of aging and its inherent problems. Answer the following questions in a coherent essay using detailed examples from the entire play:

1.) Who is most obviously failing, probably as a result of age?

2.) What is the main problem Norman is having at the opening of the play?

3.) How common is memory problems among people in their late 70s and older?

4.) Are there ways to combat memory problems? What are they?

Essay Topic 2

In Act 2, Scene 2, Ethel and Norman are packing when the phone rings and Bill is on the line to invite the elderly couple to visit in California. Answer the following questions in a coherent essay using detailed examples from the entire play:

1). After Bill's interaction with Norman when they first meet, do you believe Bill sincerely wishes to spend time with Norman again? Describe the interaction between the two men and then explain why you think Bill does or does not want to have Norman to his home.

2). After Chelsea gets on the line and re-issues the invitation, Norman is still hesitant until he thinks about the fact that he'll see Billy again. How would you feel if your father only wants to visit you to see your stepson? Do you think Norman is being honest with himself about Billy being the main reason Norman will go to California?

3). Taking in consideration the phone exchange between Chelsea and Norman, and the fact that Norman agrees to go to California only to see Billy, do you think the relationship between Norman and Chelsea has improved at all since Chelsea's visit? What else can the two do to improve their relationship?

Essay Topic 3

In Act 1, Scene 2, Charlie is again mentioned; in fact, he arrives at the door. Choose one of the following and write a coherent essay using detailed examples from the entire play:

1). Compare and contrast Charlie with Bill.

2). Charlie could be said to be a foil to Bill. What does that term mean and how might it be true of Charlie? Give specific examples.

3). Charlie might be said to be an archetype of "the boy next door." Explain in detail the term archetype. Give examples as to why Charlie could be considered an archetype of "the boy next door."

(see the answer keys)

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