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. Who attempts to befriend Fay at the Hibiscus Hotel?

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

3. What does Miss Adele bring?

4. Who's wedding were the bridesmaids a part of?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Judge become depressed?

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

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

4. Why does Laurel refuse to gossip about Fay?

5. What is Laurel searching for in her father's library?

6. What does Laurel burn out in the yard?

7. Why does Laurel feel trapped in her parent's, now Fay's, bedroom?

8. What does the red paint on her father's desk represent to Laurel?

9. What does Laurel notice about her father and Fay's bedroom when she goes to wake Fay?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss optimism. Was Judge really an optimist? How did Judge define optimism? Is this a true definition of optimism? How did Laurel define optimism? Was she an optimist at the beginning of the novel? Was she an optimist at the end of the novel?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Laurel burns a bunch of her mother and father's papers before she leaves for Chicago. Why does Laurel do this? Who is she trying to protect? What does Laurel think Fay might do with the letters? Is Laurel hiding something or protecting something? Why?

(see the answer keys)

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