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

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

3. Who invites Ethel and Norman to dinner?

4. How could Norman's memory best be described?

5. Who does Ethel see in the woods?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe Ethel's concern and role in that day's fishing venture.

3. Describe the scene and conversation about Elmer.

4. Who is calling on the phone and for what purpose?

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

6. Describe the interaction between Norman and Bill after the others have gone outside.

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

8. What does Ethel do after Norman and Billy leave?

9. What does Norman apologize for and how might a reader interpret that apology?

10. Describe the opening scene in Act 2, Scene 1.

Essay 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 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

In Act 1, Scene 2, Charlie is again mentioned; in fact, he arrives at the door. Choose one of the following and write a coherent essay using detailed examples from the entire play:

1). Compare and contrast Charlie with Bill.

2). Charlie could be said to be a foil to Bill. What does that term mean and how might it be true of Charlie? Give specific examples.

3). Charlie might be said to be an archetype of "the boy next door." Explain in detail the term archetype. Give examples as to why Charlie could be considered an archetype of "the boy next door."

(see the answer keys)

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