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. What happens with Charlie's visitor?

2. Why does Norman pick up the telephone?

3. What separates the kitchen from the living room?

4. Who is coming with Chelsea on her visit?

5. What does Norman ask the phone operator to do?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. When does Norman become interested in Chelsea's letter and why might that be?

3. What picture does Norman pick up and what is the story behind it?

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

5. Give a brief synopsis of Ethel and Charlie's conversation and what the author may be showing through this conversation.

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

7. 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?

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

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

10. Describe Ethel and a little about her.

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 the opening to Act 1, Scene 3, Norman comments to Ethel that Chelsea is now past her childbearing years and never had a child. Choose one of the following to write a coherent essay with detailed examples:

1). For many centuries, women were considered property, or at the very least, someone to produce a male heir for the family line. Write an essay briefing describing the change in status of women in your home country over the past three centuries.

2). Is woman's most important function that of producing children? Write an essay about how women who have chosen to remain childless are viewed in your culture; give specific examples. Give your personal opinion also.

3). Along with the idea of childbearing is the controversy of the right to choose an abortion. Write an essay taking a stance using detailed examples to support your stance.

Essay Topic 3

In Act 1, Scene 3, young Billy Ray is introduced and hits if off immediately with Norman, who has a somewhat strained relationship with his own daughter, Chelsea. Answer the following questions in a coherent essay using detailed examples from the entire play:

1). Why do you think Norman seems more relaxed and open to Billy Ray versus Chelsea?

2). Do you think Norman would have preferred a son rather than a daughter? Why?

3). Do you think most couples hope for a son as first born or at least having a son to carry on the family name?

4). How do you think the natural inclination for many couples to want at least one son has on the psychological health of daughters?

(see the answer keys)

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