The Optimist's Daughter Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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. Why is Laurel upset that Fay wants the coffin to be open?

2. What is Judge's prognosis after surgery?

3. What surprises Laurel when she sees the coffin?

4. How does Fay react when Dr. Courtland says Judge has died?

5. What does Laurel see in Judge's face after Fay's abuse?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Laurel find in her mother's sewing room?

2. Describe Judge McKelva.

3. What is discussed over dinner after the funeral?

4. How does Laurel finally catch the bird?

5. Describe Judge and Fay's relationship as shown in Chapter 2.

6. What makes Laurel unhappy about her father's coffin?

7. What does Dr. Courtland tell Laurel after her father passes away?

8. What other decision has Fay made about the wake that Laurel dislikes?

9. Is Laurel a responsible person, as demonstrated by her actions in Chapter 3?

10. In Chapter 1, what causes the tensions between Laurel and Fay?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Fay did not think Judge should have surgery on his eye. Judge trusted his friend. Who was right? Who should have the right to make these types of medical decisions? Would the story have been different had Judge followed Fay's opinion? Would Judge still be alive?

Essay Topic 2

Compare and contrast Fay and Laurel. How are these two characters similar? How are they different? What motivates each character? How are these motivations similar? How are they different?

Essay Topic 3

What is the significance of the breadboard? Who made the breadboard? Who used it? Why does its destruction upset Laurel so much? Who destroyed it? Why? What does this destruction say about this person? How does the discovery of this breadboard help Laurel heal?

(see the answer keys)

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