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 to Dr. Courtland's orders regarding Judge's after surgery care?

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

4. How long after Judge met Fay did they get married?

5. Why is Laurel concerned about her father?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does the red paint on her father's desk represent to Laurel?

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

3. How does Fay react when she returns home from the funeral home and finds people sitting with Laurel?

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

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

6. What does Fay do when she sees the coffin?

7. Why does Laurel believe her father married Fay?

8. Why does Laurel refuse to gossip about Fay?

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

10. Why do the neighbors blame Laurel for Judge marrying Fay?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss Laurel's mother. How does Laurel feel about her mother? What kind of person does Laurel believe her mother was? Does Laurel admire her mother? Why or why not? What does Laurel think about her mother and father's relationship? How did this relationship define her father? Was this an accurate description?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Why is Judge reluctant to engage in confrontations? Is this unusual for a man who makes his living as a judge? How did this reluctance to argue affect Judge's marriages? How did Judge's first wife feel about his reluctance to deal with her anger or her health issues? How did Laurel feel about it? Did this behavior save Judge from emotional entanglements, or make them worse? How?

(see the answer keys)

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