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. According to Maria, what object signifies that her new sleeping arrangement is just temporary?

2. What does the man who doesn't like artificial lemon juice at BZ and Helene's do for a living?

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

4. How is Maria playing on the lawn with the baby as Carter recalls in the beginning of the novel?

5. What does Maria eat and drink during her new pastime?

Short Essay Questions

1. When Freddy offers Maria an opportunity for Morty Landau to see film of her, what does her response indicate about her priorities?

2. Where did Maria grow up and why is it significant?

3. 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?

4. 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?

5. In the period before Maria has her abortion, what does she think about her mother's death and why is it significant?

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

7. What is the location of Maria's abortion and what does it represent?

8. Where does Maria begin to sleep after her breakup with Carter and why is it significant?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss autobiographical elements in "Play It as It Lays". What aspects of Didion's life is portrayed in the novel.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the Point of View in the novel.

1. Discuss the rotating points of views in the novel:

a. Maria's third person and first person point of views.

b. Helene's point of view.

c. Carter's point of view.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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