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. Whose boat pulls up to the dock?

2. What is Norman concerned about in going to the neighbors' house for dinner?

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

4. At whose picture does Norman look?

5. What is one thing Charlie brought with him?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

7. Describe the scene and conversation about Elmer.

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

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

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

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

The first character the reader meets is Norman Thayer. Answer the following questions in a coherent essay using detailed examples from the entire play:

1). Describe Norman physical characteristics.

2). How does the way he is dressed and his actions help portray who he is as a personality?

3). Just from reading about him in Act 1, Scene 1, what would you think are some of his personality traits? Give specific examples for each trait you mention.

Essay Topic 3

When Ethel pulls her doll, Elmer, out of the fireplace, Norman suggests that Elmer might have been attempting suicide when he fell into the fireplace and that he might try that some day himself. Choose one of the following topics and write a cohesive essay with detailed examples.

1). Compare and contrast Norman and Ethel and their attitudes towards death and suicide. Include how you think each of them might commit suicide given their different personalities.

2). Write an essay about the topic of assisted suicide. Include your opinion of it and who you think should be able to take such an action.

(see the answer keys)

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