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. What makes Fay upset when they arrive back in Mississippi?

2. Why can Judge not be moved?

3. What does Laurel do after the nurse tells her about Fay's abuse toward Judge?

4. What was Judge doing when he experienced symptoms related to his doctor's visit?

5. Who does Laurel find in the kitchen when she wakes?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does the bird symbolize?

2. In Chapter 2, what does Fay complain about while waiting for Judge to come out of surgery?

3. Why does Laurel believe her father died?

4. Why did Judge call himself an optimist?

5. How does Fay react to Judge's death?

6. What does Fay decide to do after the funeral?

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

8. Why does Laurel refuse to gossip about Fay?

9. How does Fay react when she returns home from the funeral home and finds people sitting with Laurel?

10. What does the nurse tell Laurel when she arrives at the hospital? How does Laurel react?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Laurel and Fay never really get along, even after Laurel attempts to befriend Fay. Why does Fay reject Laurel's overtures at friendship? Does Fay dislike Laurel? Does Fay feel threatened by Laurel? Why or why not? Does Laurel really want to be Fay's friend? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

Eudora Welty uses several examples of symbolism throughout the novel. Name two. What do these objects symbolize? Why did Welty chose these items? How are these items similar to the things they symbolize? How are they different?

(see the answer keys)

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