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. What phrase does Helene's friends who are about ten years older than Helene say to one another?

2. What does BZ do with the first picture that Carter made with Maria that she doesn't like?

3. Why does Maria prefer the studio cut of the second picture Carter made with her?

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

5. According to Carter, when Maria responds to his statement about dining out, who continues to look directly at her?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the only time in Maria's day where she does not think about the past nor is overcome with dread?

2. How do Larry Kulik and BZ behave around the girl in the white halter dress at a party Maria attends and why is it significant?

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

4. Why does Kate live in a facility for special needs children?

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

6. When Maria thinks of the men that she has been intimate in her life, what conclusion does she come to and how is it important to the novel?

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

8. What kind of arrangements does Maria have to make in order to terminate her pregnancy at this time?

9. Why does Carter tell Maria tell Kate that it is not good for her to visit Kate unannounced and what does it reveal about Kate's treatment?

10. In the period before Maria has her abortion, what rituals does she perform in order to induce menstruation and why does she do them?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the representation of the health industry in the novel.

1. How are medical professionals portrayed?

2. How are patient rights represented?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the role of class in the novel.

1. What is the impact of class mobility on the characters?

2. How are differences in class represented?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss games as a motif in the novel.

1. What does the title "Play It as It Lays" signify?

2. What is the significance of gambling for Maria?

(see the answer keys)

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