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. What does Dr. Courtland say about Judge's eye three weeks after the surgery?

3. What city does Laurel live in?

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

5. How does Fay react to Dr. Courtland's orders regarding Judge's after surgery care?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. Who is waiting when the train arrives in Judge's hometown?

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

8. How does Laurel feel about Fay at this point in the story, Part 3, Chapter 4?

9. Why do the neighbors dislike Fay?

10. Why does Laurel refuse to gossip about Fay?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Who is Phil? Why does Laurel think about him after the death of her father? What impact did his death have on Laurel? Why is Laurel more angry about his death, even after all this time, than that of her father? How has Phil's death defined Laurel's life?

Essay Topic 3

Laurel and Fay never really get along, even after Laurel attempts to befriend Fay. Why does Fay reject Laurel's overtures at friendship? Does Fay dislike Laurel? Does Fay feel threatened by Laurel? Why or why not? Does Laurel really want to be Fay's friend? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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