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. Why is Fay unhappy with Judge's circumstances?

2. What does Laurel believe the lining of the coffin does to her father?

3. What shocks Laurel about her parent's bedroom?

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

5. Why can Judge not be moved?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why does Laurel refuse to gossip about Fay?

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

4. Why do the neighbors dislike Fay?

5. How does gossip affect the plot in Part 3, Chapter 1?

6. How did Judge react to his wife's illness toward the end of her life?

7. Why is Laurel concerned for her father?

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

9. Is it appropriate for Fay to expect Judge to take her dancing?

10. Describe Judge McKelva.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Fay shakes Judge shortly before he died. Did this abuse cause his death? How did this abuse affect Judge? What does this abuse say about Fay? What does the abuse say about Fay and Judge's relationship? Is this a toxic relationship? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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