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

2. What book does Laurel begin reading to her father?

3. Why does Laurel go to check on Fay after Missouri?

4. Why does Laurel decide to return to the hospital the night Judge dies?

5. What does Laurel do with Judge during her time with him?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Laurel end the argument?

2. Why does Laurel fly to New Orleans?

3. Why does Miss Adele remain after everyone has left to put away the dishes?

4. Describe Fay.

5. Why does Laurel want to find her mother's letters?

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

7. What problem does Dr. Courtland find with Judge's eyes and is it serious?

8. What does Part 2, Chapter 4 say about the characters of Laurel and Fay?

9. Why does Laurel believe her father married Fay?

10. Why did Judge call himself an optimist?

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

Grief is a theme of this novel. Discuss how grief effects each of the main characters, including Laurel, Fay, and Judge. How does grief change their thinking, their behaviors? How does it affect their choices?

Essay Topic 3

Who are the bridesmaids? Why do they call themselves that? Why are they waiting when Laurel and Fay arrive home by train? How does Fay react to their presence? How should she have reacted? What are Fay's motivations for reacting so negatively to these people?

(see the answer keys)

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