Orpheus Descending 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. Who says, "What on earth can you do on this earth but catch whatever comes near you, with both your hands, until your fingers are broken"?

2. What does Dolly say about Jabe's appearance after he goes upstairs?

3. When did Carol meet Val before?

4. What song does Val play in Act 1 Scene 1?

5. What does Carol remove from her trench coat pocket in Act 1 Scene 1?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Lady compare her body to in Act 3 Scene 3 when talking to Val?

2. Describe the character of Uncle Pleasant. What does he look like? What does he say when he enters in Act 1?

3. What does Jabe look at when he comes downstairs in Act, 3 Scene 1? What is his response?

4. Explain Vee's feelings about painting.

5. Who is Vee? How has she met Val?

6. What does Vee say has blinded her in Act 3? How long has she been expecting this?

7. Why does Lady enter panicked at the beginning of Act 3?

8. Compare the characters Val and Sheriff Talbott. How are they alike? How are they different?

9. What does Lady say to Val about opening the confectionery in Act 3 Scene 3?

10. Why does Val brush off Carol in Act 1?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the role of Music in Orpheus Descending. What role does Music and Art play in the themes of this play? Who represents music and art?

Essay Topic 2

Orpheus Descending is in part about the place of the artist in society. What role should the artist play? Is the artist always likely to be marginalized, like Val, or misunderstood, like Vee, in a conventional, materialistic society? For what should the artist stand, if anything?

Essay Topic 3

Describe Lady's relationship with David. What happened and when did this take place? How does Lady feel about David now?

(see the answer keys)

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