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. How old is Norman?

2. Who does Ethel invite in for coffee?

3. Who does Ethel see in the woods?

4. What is Charlie's response to Ethel's suggestion?

5. How many summers have Norman and Ethel Thayer been coming to this setting?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

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

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

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

6. 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?

7. Describe the scene and conversation about Elmer.

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

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

10. What question does Norman ask Charlie and what is the implication of Charlie's answer?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Act 1, Scene 2 opens with some similarities to the opening of Act 1, Scene 1, but there are also some differences in the setting and initial actions of the characters. Answer the following questions in a coherent essay using detailed examples from the entire play:

1). What is similar about the opening of this scene as far as the setting is concerned?

2). What is different about the setting?

3). Do you think that when something is repeated in such a brief play, it is significant?

4). Ethel is again knocking on the door and again, Norman does not realize it is her knocking. Why do you think the author repeats this scenario, albeit slightly differently? What is significance of Ethel knocking expecting Norman to open the door? Is this a metaphor for their relationship?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

In Act 2, Scene 1, Norman and Billy are sneaking out of the house, acting like old buddies, to go fishing. Choose one of the following to write a coherent essay with detailed examples:

1). Describe the metamorphosis of Billy and Norman's relationship. Fill in the blanks where information is not provided.

2). Discuss why you think Norman adopts some of Billy's style of talk and habits and Billy adopts some of Norman's ideas. Include what those ideas and habits are.

3). Discuss how people tend to treat their grandchildren differently from their children. Give examples from your life or other books/movies you have seen. Why do you think this happens?

(see the answer keys)

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