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 does Val wear?

2. Why hadn't Val read the character reference before?

3. What does Val say he needs to fix his buckle?

4. What is peculiar about the birds that Val tells Lady about?

5. What's the one word Carol says the ghosts at Cypress Hill say?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Val say about questions and waiting for answers in Act 2?

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

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

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

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

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

7. Why have the women come to the store in the beginning of the play?

8. How do the stage directions describe Val? What is he wearing?

9. What does the Nurse accuse Lady of before leaving?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Discuss the theme of Rebirth in Orpheus Descending. What symbols represent this theme? What motifs exemplify it? What imagery?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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