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

2. Who does Dolly speak to in the Prologue?

3. Where was Lady's father from?

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

5. Why is Val in town?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are some of the "oddities" Val tells Lady about himself?

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

3. What story does Beulah tell about Lady's father?

4. How is Lady shot? Who shoots her?

5. How does Val regard his guitar?

6. What conversation occurs between Beulah and Lady in Act 3 Scene 3?

7. Who has signed Val's guitar?

8. Explain Vee's feelings about painting.

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

10. Why does Lady feel disappointed in Val in Act 2 Scene 3? Why does he feel disappointed in her?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explore the theme of sexuality and sexual repression in Orpheus Descending. Which characters are repressed? Which are not? How does Val's presence affect the town?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Williams wrote in his introduction to the play that Orpheus Descending is about "unanswered questions that haunt the hearts of people." Some of the characters simply accept prescribed answers, but not the four main characters -- Val, Lady, Carol, and Vee. They continue to ask questions. What might those questions be, and what answers, if any, do these characters find?

(see the answer keys)

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