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. How does Fay react to the doctor's recommendation?

2. What does Dr. Courtland do when he arrives in Judge's room the night Fay abuses Judge?

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

4. What does Laurel hear when she approaches the Judge's room the night he dies?

5. Who does Laurel find in the kitchen when she wakes?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why does Laurel believe her father died?

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

4. Why does Laurel believe her father married Fay?

5. Why does Judge chose a doctor in New Orleans rather than one close to home?

6. Why does Laurel end the argument?

7. Who arrives the morning of the funeral?

8. Why does Laurel have dinner with the bridesmaids?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What is the significance of the breadboard? Who made the breadboard? Who used it? Why does its destruction upset Laurel so much? Who destroyed it? Why? What does this destruction say about this person? How does the discovery of this breadboard help Laurel heal?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Does Judge love Fay? Did Judge remarry out of love? Was Judge lonely? Could Laurel have saved him from a bad marriage if she had not moved to Chicago? Was it Laurel's job to keep her father from being lonely? Why did Laurel move away? Does Laurel feel guilty about leaving her father? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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