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 is the name of their daughter who visits them?

2. Who does Ethel invite in for coffee?

3. What does the operator ask Norman?

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

5. In answer to Norman's question as to why Charlie never married Chelsea, what does Charlie reply?

Short Essay Questions

1. The fact that Ethel twice suggests that Chelsea make amends with her father because he is old and will not live much longer seems to clearly be foreshadowing something. What do you think it foreshadows?

2. Give a brief synopsis of the conversation Chelsea and Ethel have about Norman as Chelsea just arrives.

3. Describe the first interaction between Ethel and Chelsea when they are alone.

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

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

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

7. How does the interaction between Norman and Billy Ray in this introductory scene demonstrate the probability that their relationship will be different from the one that Chelsea experienced with her father when she was young?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

The next character introduced in Ethel Thayer, Norman's wife, who is about a decade younger than Norman. Answer the following questions in a coherent essay using detailed examples from the entire play:

1). Describe Ethel's appearance.

2). What has Ethel been doing and what does this say about her physical health as opposed to that of Norman's?

3). From Act 1, Scene 1, write a brief synopsis of Ethel's personality and what details support your description.

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

It is obvious that the opening of the Lakeside Cottage is a tradition that goes back many years; in fact, we are told this is the 48th summer that Norman and Ethel have come to their "home in the woods." Answer the following questions in a coherent essay using detailed examples from the entire play:

1). What do you think the fact that these two have spent 48 summers at this Lake says about them as people?

2). Can you imagine always spending your summers at the same place every year?

3). If you answer yes to the above question, describe the place that you would like to go for that many summers.

4). If you answer "no" to question 2, describe several places that you would want to go for vacations.

5). Are there any traditions you and your family maintain year after year?

(see the answer keys)

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