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 does Laurel overhear Fay saying to Judge?

2. Why does Laurel believe her father would not have wanted an open coffin?

3. Who is waiting with Fay at the hospital?

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

5. In Part 1, Chapter 3, what does Dr. Courtland say about Judge's eye?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why does Laurel believe her father died?

3. Where does Laurel expect her father to be buried?

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

5. Why do the neighbors dislike Fay?

6. Why does Laurel end the argument?

7. Why did Judge call himself an optimist?

8. Describe Judge and Laurel's relationship as shown in Chapter 2.

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

10. Why does Laurel fly to New Orleans?

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

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 3

Why does Fay insist on making the funeral arrangements? Why does Laurel allow her to do this? Should Laurel have had a right to make some of the decisions? Why or why not? Does Laurel agree with Fay's choices? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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