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 does Jabe do to summon Lady upstairs?

3. How many places in New Orleans does Carol say she followed Val?

4. 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"?

5. What does Val say that today is in Act 1, Scene 2?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What did Lady's father do after Prohibition took hold?

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

5. Describe the character of Lady. How old is she? Who is she married to?

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

7. What does Jabe say after Lady is shot? What does he do?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the role of Music in Orpheus Descending. What role does Music and Art play in the themes of this play? Who represents music and art?

(see the answer keys)

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