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 is Sheriff Talbott married to?

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

3. Who's appearance makes Eva and Sister scream?

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

5. What did Lady's father do after Prohibition set in?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who is present at the beginning of Act 3 Scene 3? What are they discussing?

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

3. How does Lady hear that Val is leaving town? What is her response?

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

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

6. What sounds indicate that Val is murdered? How?

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

8. What does Lady tell David in Act 2? How does he react?

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

10. How does Val regard his guitar?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe how the ending of Orpheus Descending reflects the exposition presented in the prologue? How is Val's death like that of Lady's father?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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