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 makes Fay upset when they arrive back in Mississippi?

2. What does Laurel overhear Fay saying to Judge?

3. What does Laurel listen for but never hear?

4. Who called Laurel?

5. What does Laurel do after the nurse tells her about Fay's abuse toward Judge?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why did Judge call himself an optimist?

2. What does the bird symbolize?

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

4. Describe Fay.

5. Do you think Fay's behavior is appropriate in Chapter 2?

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

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

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

9. What story of her mother's does Laurel recall in Part 3, Chapter 4?

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

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

Compare Fay to Laurel's mother. Do they have any similarities? What are they? How are they different? Why did Judge chose to marry each of these women? Did Judge love these women? How did these women affect Judge's life?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss Judge's depression. Why did he become depressed after surgery? Who had the largest impact on Judge's emotional state? Why? How did Laurel try to relieve Judge's depression? Was she successful? Was Judge's depression a hurdle to his recovery? How?

(see the answer keys)

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