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 does Laurel listen for but never hear?

2. What is significant about Fay's age?

3. What is name of the family introduced in Part 1, Chapter 1?

4. What does Laurel overhear Fay saying to Judge?

5. Why does Judge refuse to ask Laurel about her work?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Laurel decide to do?

2. Who else does Laurel grieve in Part 3, Chapter 4?

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

4. Who arrives the morning of the funeral?

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

6. Why does Fay refuse to get up the next morning?

7. Why do the neighbors blame Laurel for Judge marrying Fay?

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

9. What does Fay do when she sees the coffin?

10. What do the pictures and books in her father's library symbolize to Laurel?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

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

Discuss Laurel's mother. How does Laurel feel about her mother? What kind of person does Laurel believe her mother was? Does Laurel admire her mother? Why or why not? What does Laurel think about her mother and father's relationship? How did this relationship define her father? Was this an accurate description?

(see the answer keys)

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