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

3. Who is on the phone when it rings?

4. Who is Elmer?

5. Where is Chelsea going after stopping to see her parents?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the interaction between Ethel and Norman in this scene and say what you think it may mean.

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

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

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

5. Describe what happens when Norman uses the phone.

6. Who is Charlie and what is a little about his life and/or history?

7. 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?

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

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

10. What does Ethel say about the neighbors and what is Norman's response?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Near the end of Act 1, Scene 3, the conversation turns to dancing and Norman expresses regret that he has never taken Ethel dancing. Answer the following questions in a coherent essay using detailed examples from the entire play:

1). What else do you think Norman regrets in his life? Support your ideas with details from the text.

2). Do you think Ethel has any regrets? What would those be? Support your ideas with details from the text.

3). It seems clear that Chelsea has regrets, as she names a couple of them. What are they?

4). Is there any good to be had by holding regrets? What can a person do to let go of regrets?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Two people mentioned in Act 1, Scene 1, are Miss Appley and Miss Tate who are both in their nineties. Ethel implies that these two have been romantically involved for many decades. This play was written in the 1970s, which means Miss Appley and Miss Tate probably became lovers in the early part of the 1900s. Answer the following questions in a coherent essay using detailed examples from the entire play:

1). How difficult do you think it was for the two women to have a relationship in the early part of the 20th century?

2). What do you think the attitude of each of their parents was when it became obvious that the two women were not going to marry men?

3). How would you feel if Miss Appley and Miss Tate were your next door neighbors?

(see the answer keys)

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