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 is Tracy writing in the beginning of the play?

2. What does Margaret tell Dexter when he arrives at the end of Act 1, Part 4?

3. What do Tracy and Liz agree on about marriage?

4. How does Mike react to Liz's answer about whether or not she has been married?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the play end, and what does it symbolize for Tracy and her life?

2. What does the character of Seth represent as he is first mentioned in the play?

3. How does George respond to Dexter's gift, and what does that cause Tracy to notice in him?

4. What are two examples of the deception manufactured by the Lord family, as it gets more complicated in Act 1, Part 4?

5. What does the conversation between Tracy and Dexter at the start of Act 3, Part 2 remind both characters of?

6. What examples does Liz use to illustrate her point about the way a name doesn't always reflect character?

7. What is the discussion Mike and Liz have about people's names?

8. What do Tracy and Mike decide about the previous evening's events and the wedding? Also, how does Tracy begin to realize exactly what might have happened?

9. How do Tracy and Margaret's marriages compare, and what is the difference between how the two look at them?

10. What do the lengths the Lord family is willing to go through say about their priorities?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Tracy and Liz are parallel characters in many ways. What are some examples of how they are placed in similar situations, but respond differently? What issues do they share similar views on? Overall, what is Liz's main purpose in the play? What does she illustrate in Tracy's character, along with Tracy's own actions? Why is this important?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Describe 2 examples of how Dexter deliberately stands in George's way and prevents him from doing something. Why does the author choose Dexter to perform this role? In each case, what is significant about Dexter's actions, and what do you think his motivations are for doing them? How does George's character respond and what does that show about his role in the plot?

(see the answer keys)

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