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. With his strange overtures toward her, Axel Olsen shows

2. Once again, Helga realizes that

3. Helga gets a job in New York at

4. James Vayle, to whom Helga is engaged,

5. What disturbs Helga about her conversation with Dr. Anderson?

Short Essay Questions

1. Do we know why Helga loses interest in her present lifestyle? How would you assess Helga if you were her friend or counselor?

2. What role, if any, does Clare's husband play in the story so far? Is he a comforting presence? Why, or why not? Is he a likable character?

3. Hugh Wentworth, the white author, comes back into the story during the afternoon tea scene. What is Wentworth's role? Is he a true friend to Irene? To Clare?

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

5. What is it that has kept Clare from leaving her husband and living permanently in Harlem?

6. During a period while Clare is gone, is there peace in the Redfield home? Why, or why not?

7. Speculate on why Clare is silent at the Redfield dinner table, but talkative and gregarious a parties with others. Does she have a split personality, or is she just shy at the Redfields'? How does Larsen let on what is going on without saying it?

8. 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?

9. Describe Helga's opinions of Naxos as an institution. Would Naxos be a popular school in today's world? Why, or why not?

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

What are the most outstanding differences in Helga Crane's presentation of herself in Denmark and in New York? Write about her transition from one facade to the other, and what she brought from one culture to the other. Did she blend in within any of the societal structures in which she chose to live? Why, or why not?

Essay Topic 2

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 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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