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. Where does Carol tell Val she knows him from?

2. Which character enters from upstairs in Act 1 Scene 1?

3. What does Lady say that the store can never hold?

4. Whose family name is the oldest and most distinguished in the county?

5. What is Vee carrying when she enters in Act 1 Scene 1?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What conversation does Lady have with the Nurse about Jabe's illness in Act 3 Scene 3?

3. What does Lady ask Val in Act 2 Scene 4 about the money? What does he respond?

4. Why does Lady call the pharmacist in Act 1 Scene 2?

5. Describe the birds that Val tells Lady about. What is remarkable about them?

6. Describe the character of Carol. What does she wear? How old is she?

7. What does Lady offer Val to save him money in Act 2?

8. Explain Vee's feelings about painting.

9. How and why did Val end up in town?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the component of racism in Orpheus Descending. How does it play a role in the action of the play? How does the element of race lend in defining certain characters?

Essay Topic 2

Explore the use of Christian imagery and symbolism in the play. What do Val's visions relate to the reader about the action of the play? How does the Christ figure relate to Val?

Essay Topic 3

How is Tennessee Williams' own life reflected in Orpheus Descending? What major themes are common in Williams' work and why does he repeat these themes? How do they relate to the author's experiences?

(see the answer keys)

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