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. What is Fay's mood as they wait for Judge to return from surgery?

3. How does Fay react to seeing Judge after surgery?

4. Who does Judge ask for when he wakes after surgery?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Laurel refuse to gossip about Fay?

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

3. Who is waiting when the train arrives in Judge's hometown?

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

5. Who consoles Laurel after the funeral?

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

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

8. Why does Laurel return to the hospital?

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

10. Why does Laurel believe her father married Fay?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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 was the dominate person in Judge's relationship with Fay? Why? How did Judge's friends and family feel about this relationship? Why? How did people around Judge feel about Fay? Why do they believe he married Fay? Could they be correct? How does Laurel feel about this relationship between Judge and Fay? Does Laurel also believe what the neighbors believe about Fay? Did Judge's relationship with Fay contribute to his death?

(see the answer keys)

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