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 Dolly speak to in the Prologue?

2. How old does Carol say she is?

3. What is Carol Cutrere's brother's name?

4. What is Lady redecorating the confectionery to look like?

5. How old does Val say he is?

Short Essay Questions

1. In what time and place is Orpheus Descending set?

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

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

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

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

6. What is Val's memory of the woman he saw on the bayou?

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

8. How does Val regard his guitar?

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

10. Who has signed Val's guitar?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Describe the story of the birds told to Lady by Val in the play. What does this story symbolize? What foreshadowing is within this story?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the concept of revenge as it applies to Orpheus Descending. Which characters want to enact revenge? Why? How? How is this symbolized in the play?

(see the answer keys)

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