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 does Laurel fly to New Orleans?

2. How does Fay react when Dr. Courtland says Judge has died?

3. Who is waiting with Fay at the hospital?

4. Why does Judge need to see the doctor?

5. Where does Laurel put Miss Adele's gift?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Laurel burn out in the yard?

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

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

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

5. Who consoles Laurel after the funeral?

6. How does Fay react to the waiting crowd?

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

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

9. What problem does Dr. Courtland find with Judge's eyes and is it serious?

10. What does the bird symbolize?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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?

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

Eudora Welty uses several examples of symbolism throughout the novel. Name two. What do these objects symbolize? Why did Welty chose these items? How are these items similar to the things they symbolize? How are they different?

(see the answer keys)

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