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 does Beulah say Lady's heart was broken by?

2. How much time has passed between Act 1, Scene 1 and Act 1, Scene 2?

3. 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"?

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

5. What was "the mistake" Lady's father made that caused the vineyard to be burned?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who has signed Val's guitar?

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

3. Why does Val say that Jim Crow killed Bessie Smith?

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

5. What did Lady's father come to America with?

6. What happens when the Conjure Man appears in the beginning of Act 3 Scene 3?

7. What have the Town Women gone upstairs in Lady and Jabe's house for? What do they remark about it?

8. How does Val regard his guitar?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Compare and contrast the characters of Lady and Jabe. What do each of these characters represent symbolically? How are they alike? How are they different.

(see the answer keys)

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