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 did Jabe have surgery?

2. What did the letters from Val's woman friend say?

3. What does Vee say she's been doing for ten hours straight in Act 1 Scene 1?

4. Who does Dolly speak to in the Prologue?

5. Who does Carol say that Val told her he'd gotten the ring from?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Where do Val and Lady go in the end of Act 2? What does this imply?

4. What does Jabe remark that takes Lady by surprise in Act 3, Scene 1?

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

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

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

8. What does Lady say to Val about opening the confectionery in Act 3 Scene 3?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

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

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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