The Philadelphia Story Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Philip Barry
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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 Margaret tell Dexter when he arrives at the end of Act 1, Part 4?

2. How many times does Liz tell Tracy she has been married?

3. What is Dexter carrying as he enters Act 2, Scene 1, Part 1?

4. What does Tracy say both she and Margaret incorrectly chose?

5. Where did Tracy elope with her first husband?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do Sandy and Liz talk about with regard to Sidney Kidd in the beginning of Act 2, Scene 2, Part 2?

2. How does Dexter respond to Tracy as she makes her entrance in Act 3, and what does he do to encourage her memory of the previous night's events?

3. What is the significance of Tracy's drinking, and how is it illustrated in the play?

4. What is significant about the conversation between Mike and Liz at the beginning of Act 2, Scene 1, Part 1?

5. How does Kidd react to Sandy's expose, and what does that say about the character's priorities?

6. What do we learn about George in Act 1, Part 2?

7. How does Tracy appear on the morning of her wedding, what types of things is she asking about, and why are they important?

8. What does the family do in Act 2, Scene 1, Part 2 that indicates a change in their priorities?

9. How do Tracy and Liz feel about marriage, and what is interestingly revealed about Liz?

10. What is the interesting interaction between Mike and Sandy at the beginning of Act 1, Part 3?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Barry uses several key literary elements in The Philadelphia Story to make his point about the upper and lower class lifestyle differences.

1) Describe 2 examples of irony used in the play, why it was used, and how it added to the plot.

2) Describe 2 examples of foreshadowing used in the play, how Barry uses it, and what it added to the story.

3) Describe the pace of the play and how Barry uses dialogue to contribute to the effectiveness of the characters.

Essay Topic 2

Describe the connection between Tracy and Dexter and how it developed from the beginning of the play to the conclusion. Why is the ending so effective in illustrating their connection? What does their relationship prove to Tracy and how does it reinforce what she is learning? Has Dexter changed at all during the play in order to reestablish the connection? If so, in what ways? Most importantly, how does their marriage at the end complete Tracy's journey and make her "human?" What does that really mean for her and why is it an important part of her happiness?

Essay Topic 3

The main symbol used in The Philadelphia Story is the boat that Dexter previously built for Tracy when they were married.

1) How does Dexter's wedding present introduce the boat into the play? What are the reactions to it from Tracy and other characters? What is interesting about the plans Dexter has for the boat as he describes them to Tracy?

2) What is the significance of the name of the boat and what does it mean to both characters?

3) How does Tracy relate herself with the boat, what are the characteristics that she shares with it, and why are they important to her development?

(see the answer keys)

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