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 Dr. Courtland tell Laurel about Judge after he dies?

2. What makes Fay upset when they arrive back in Mississippi?

3. What upsets Fay when she returns home from meeting with the funeral director?

4. What was Judge doing when he experienced symptoms related to his doctor's visit?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What is discussed over dinner after the funeral?

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

3. What does Laurel find in the house when she returns from dinner?

4. Why does Laurel believe her father married Fay?

5. What does Laurel decide to do?

6. What does Laurel find in her mother's sewing room?

7. Is Laurel a responsible person, as demonstrated by her actions in Chapter 3?

8. What does the bird symbolize?

9. Describe Judge McKelva.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Who are the bridesmaids? Why do they call themselves that? Why are they waiting when Laurel and Fay arrive home by train? How does Fay react to their presence? How should she have reacted? What are Fay's motivations for reacting so negatively to these people?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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