Quicksand and Passing Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Helga remembers her mother being
(a) Nurturing.
(b) Polite.
(c) Gregarious.
(d) Remote.

2. James Vayle feels it is important
(a) For negroes at the top of the race to have children.
(b) For everyone to have at least one child.
(c) For Helga to be married and settled down.
(d) That poorer negroes continue to have children.

3. Helga's false pride masks her
(a) Cruel nature.
(b) Lack of taste.
(c) Insecurity and pain.
(d) Coldness.

4. The portrait Olsen has painted of Helga is
(a) Demure and soft.
(b) Exotic and wild.
(c) A mocking likeness.
(d) Exact and lifelike.

5. Helga decides to ask her maternal uncle for help because
(a) She knows he will take her in.
(b) Her father's wealth has disappeared.
(c) Her father's relatives hate her.
(d) Her mother would have wanted it.

Short Answer Questions

1. The painter, Herr Olsen, finds Helga's looks to be

2. Helga is disturbed by her euphoric feelings from the music, telling herself

3. Helga tells Olsen that some day

4. What effect did Uncle Peter's check have on Helga?

5. The husband of Mrs. Hayes-Rore died

Short Essay Questions

1. Devastated over losing what she secretly hoped would develop into an affair with Anderson, Helga's depression returns. Discuss the worship service that she happens upon, and its symbolism.

2. Discuss Helga's "maladjustment" at Naxos. Is it about the school, or is it about Helga, or both?

3. Why does Helga feel free on the ship on her way to Denmark? Does being isolated in the middle of the ocean have any effect on her? If so, what?

4. Why does Helga think Anne is almost perfect? Is Anne perfect? What does Helga even know about her at this point in the story?

5. Describe Helga's lifestyle as a teacher. Is it unusual? Why or why not?

6. What surprises does Katrina's character bring in the story? Does she provide a safe haven or a sense of family for Helga? Why, or why not?

7. Explain Helga's repulsed fascination with the Negro performers. Why does she return over and over to see them? Is this helping her somehow?

8. Discuss the reasons for Helga's newfound happiness with her life in New York. What is it that pleases her in these new surroudings? Why does she feel better here than in Chicago?

9. What exactly happens to Helga in Denmark? What is her social life like? Is she doomed to be unhappy again? Why?

10. Why does Helga's lack of references hurt her job search? Why does she have no references?

(see the answer keys)

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