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. Why didn't Norman pick any more berries?

2. For what job does Norman contemplate applying?

3. What does Norman do when Ethel and Charlie are discussing Chelsea?

4. When does Norman express interest in the contents of Chelsea's letter?

5. Who is the person in the picture on the mantle that Norman is studying?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Briefly describe Norman Thayer, the first character on the set.

4. The fact that Norman attempts to get Charlie to discuss baseball foreshadows several other times that Norman uses baseball to hide his discomfort in carrying on meaningful conversations, particularly concerning Chelsea. What is foreshadowing?

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

6. 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?

7. How does the broken screen door come into play again and how does it give the reader a better understanding of Norman's character?

8. 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?

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

10. Another bit of conversation at the end of this scene is indicative of a recurrent theme of this play. Describe the conversation and briefly say what the theme is you think it is bringing up.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

The last scene in the play is one that is bittersweet in that it is obvious that Norman will die in the not-too-distant future, and yet at the same time, the fact that he finally overcomes his inhibitions and dances with Ethel is a thing of hope--hope that an "old geezer" like Norman can change. Choose one of the following questions and write a coherent essay using detailed examples from the entire play:

1). Discuss the theme of death that runs throughout the play, using specific examples.

2). Discuss the theme of redemption for at least two of the main characters; be sure to include specific examples.

3). Discuss the theme of romance and how it can be demonstrated as shown throughout the play.

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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