Quicksand and Passing 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. Where does Helga encounter Robert Anderson again?

2. Helga tells Olsen that some day

3. When she is dressed for tea, Helga's uncle decides that she

4. Helga now feels alienated from

5. The furnishings in Anne Grey's home

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Helga's reasoning for not wanting children? Is this just a defense mechanism on her part? Why, or why not?

2. Why does Helga return to Harlem? Discuss her newfound spiritual ties to the black population here. Is it the same connection she felt before? Why, or why not?

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

4. How does Larsen tell us that Helga is irreparably damaged from her childhood? Helga does not complain much - how do we know that she carries old wounds?

5. Is Helga feeling regret as she leaves Naxos? Why or why not? Is this a good move for her career? Is sh being responsible?

6. Is it clear whether Helga is liked by her peers or colleagues? If so, is it genuine? Is Helga a likable person?

7. What is it about African Americans that Helga hates? Is this opinion of hers new, or has she felt this way for some time? What causes her to draw this conclusion?

8. Discuss Axel Olsen's inappropriateness with Helga. What kind of person is he? Why does Helga reject him?

9. What is it that disturbs Helga about Naxos' methods of educating children? Are her feelings justified?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Research the country of Denmark and determine what percent of the population is black. Is Denmark a typical destination for people of color from the US? Why, or why not? How does the general population of that country feel at this time in history about mixed races -- would a bi-racial person feel at home in Denmark today? If you were a black man or woman relocating to Copenhagen, what type of work would you expect to get?

Essay Topic 2

Write an in-depth essay on Dr. Robert Anderson. There are many things about him which attract and repel Helga. What is his role in Helga's life in Quicksand? What does he represent to her? Is there anything about him that would make him more attractive to Helga than the average man? Why does Larsen include him?

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay about the music in Harlem during the 1920s, including popular musicians and their audiences. Do some of the same venues still exist there? Does the traditional music of the 1920s still exist there? What permanent mark did early Harlem leave on music, if any?

(see the answer keys)

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