Praisesong for the Widow 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 is the time period of Avey's cruise?

2. With what dessert does Avey begin to be uncomfortable on the cruise ship?

3. What did Avey fix for her family on Sunday mornings?

4. What did Jay use to unwind at night?

5. What language is spoken by the island people most of the year?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Avey feel guilty about reminiscing about the days spent at the Halsey Street apartment?

2. What happened when Avey finally let loose with her suspicions of Jay?

3. How does the author use a flashback to show the beginnings of Avey's discomfort on the cruise ship?

4. Who is the main character of the story and what is she doing as the novel opens?

5. How does Avey try to sort out the mess she seems to be in at the harbor?

6. Why did Avey become obsessed with the idea that Jay was being unfaithful to her?

7. What is the significance of the peach parfait for Avey?

8. What complications emerge in Avey's dream when she, as an adult, resists Great Aunt Cuney's insistence to follow her?

9. What is the premise of this novel?

10. How did Jay and Avey's life begin to take a turn for the better?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explain the role of black women in the 1970s. What precedents do they feel compelled to follow? What restrictions do they have? Do they have any freedoms that 21st century women do not have?

Essay Topic 2

Create a brief character study of Great Aunt Cuney. What did she look like? What were her positive personality traits? What were some of her negative characteristics? What were her hopes and fears? What motivated her during her lifetime?

Essay Topic 3

Explain the concept of loneliness as it exhibits in the story. Which of the characters are lonely? Are they all lonely in some way? Explain the loneliness and the methods and attempts to overcome it.

(see the answer keys)

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