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 Beulah say Lady's father had?

2. Who says, "What people say about you don't mean much"?

3. Which character enters from upstairs in Act 1 Scene 1?

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

5. What is Beulah's last name?

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. How does Carol describe herself to Val?

4. Describe the interaction between Val and Sheriff Talbott in Act 3, Scene 2 when he enters to find Val and Vee together.

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

6. What happens at the end of Act 2 Scene 3 with Val and the cash box? How does Lady react?

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

8. How does Val regard his guitar?

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

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

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 individuality versus repression in Orpheus Descending. Which characters are considered non-conventional? Which characters represent a conventional or repressed viewpoint?

Essay Topic 3

Explore the use of Christian imagery and symbolism in the play. What do Val's visions relate to the reader about the action of the play? How does the Christ figure relate to Val?

(see the answer keys)

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