Orpheus Descending Test | Lesson Plans Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What did Val do whenever paper money was dropped in the kitty?

2. Who does Beulah say burned down the wine garden?

3. What does Jabe do to summon Lady upstairs?

4. What did Lady's father do after Prohibition set in?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Carol try to convince Val to help her with? Why?

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

4. Describe Jabe's appearance upon returning from the hospital.

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

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

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

8. Who does Carol make a phone call to in Act 1 Scene 1? Why?

9. What does Lady tell David in Act 2? How does he react?

10. Explain Vee's feelings about painting.

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Explain the role of the Conjure Man in Orpheus Descending. What does he represent? Why is the the last person we see in this play?

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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