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. Maria's mother ran her car off the highway outside of what town?

2. What city does Maria have her abortion in?

3. What accessory does Helene bring to the hospital for Maria that belongs to her?

4. How many dollars does Maria withdraw in cash from the bank to pay for the abortion?

5. What object does Maria later try to remember if the doctor took with him when he left the bedroom?

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

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

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

5. What kind of man was Maria's father and what impact did it have on Maria?

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

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

10. What is the tone of Helene's recollections of Maria and why is it significant?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the treatment of women in the novel. What roles are women valued for and why? What is the relationship between equality and power in the ways in which women are treated?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the representation of the health industry in the novel.

1. How are medical professionals portrayed?

2. How are patient rights represented?

(see the answer keys)

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