Play It as It Lays 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. When BZ comes over, what does Maria ask him about Carter that he doesn't want to answer because he wants him to finish his picture?

2. What is the name of the second picture Carter made with Maria?

3. How does everything look to Maria as she leaves the house where she had her abortion?

4. What was the studio cut of the second picture Carter made with Maria?

5. What does Maria say to the baby after Carter warns her about the baby getting chilled?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who is Benny Austin and what does he represent in the novel?

2. As the novel opens, where is Maria Wyeth and why is it significant?

3. What does Maria do the first month after she and Carter break up and what does it signify?

4. How does Maria's mother die and why is it significant?

5. How does BZ respond to Maria's inquiries about whom Carter is sleeping with and what does it signify?

6. What is the coral snake Maria thinks about as the novel opens a metaphor of?

7. What does Maria's unannounced visit to her agent, Freddy Chaikin, reveal about her profession as an actress and the business of movie-making?

8. What time does Maria want to be on the freeway and why is it significant?

9. What memory does Carter have of Maria and the baby and what does it reveal about Maria?

10. How does Maria feel after her abortion and what does it signify?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Choose two characters and address how they communicate their thoughts and feelings to one another. Are they effective communicators? Why?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss conflict in the novel.

1. What is Maria's conflict with herself?

2. What is Maria's conflict with her friends and family?

3. What is Maria's conflict with society?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss mental illness as a theme in the novel.

1. How is treatment of mental illness represented in the novel?

2. What is Maria's familial history with mental illness?

(see the answer keys)

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