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. Instead of applying for a job, what does Ethel suggest Norman do?

2. Whose boat pulls up to the dock?

3. What happened to the screen door?

4. Who is the person in the picture on the mantle that Norman is studying?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. Describe what happens when Norman uses the phone.

5. Another bit of conversation at the end of this scene is indicative of a recurrent theme of this play. Describe the conversation and briefly say what the theme is you think it is bringing up.

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

7. 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?

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

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

10. Describe Ethel and a little about her.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

One of the very first things the reader becomes aware of is that a probable theme of this play is the idea of aging and its inherent problems. Answer the following questions in a coherent essay using detailed examples from the entire play:

1.) Who is most obviously failing, probably as a result of age?

2.) What is the main problem Norman is having at the opening of the play?

3.) How common is memory problems among people in their late 70s and older?

4.) Are there ways to combat memory problems? What are they?

Essay Topic 2

In the opening to Act 1, Scene 3, Norman comments to Ethel that Chelsea is now past her childbearing years and never had a child. Choose one of the following to write a coherent essay with detailed examples:

1). For many centuries, women were considered property, or at the very least, someone to produce a male heir for the family line. Write an essay briefing describing the change in status of women in your home country over the past three centuries.

2). Is woman's most important function that of producing children? Write an essay about how women who have chosen to remain childless are viewed in your culture; give specific examples. Give your personal opinion also.

3). Along with the idea of childbearing is the controversy of the right to choose an abortion. Write an essay taking a stance using detailed examples to support your stance.

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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