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. What emotion does Dr. Anderson's presence stir up in Helga?

2. How did Helga's mother lift herself out of her bad situation?

3. When Dr. Anderson makes an assumption about her background, Helga

4. Helga is tired of black people

5. In her discomfort about not fitting in, Helga realizes

Short Essay Questions

1. What does the story imply about Mrs. Hayes-Rore's husband? In what might he have been involved? Explain your answers, quoting text.

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

3. 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?

4. What was it about Helga's past that was so unhappy? Is her unhappiness justified? Why, or why not?

5. Dr. Anderson has almost talked Helga into staying at Naxos. What triggers her rage, and why?

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

8. How has the gift of Uncle Peter's money affected Helga? Was this a kind gesture on his part? Why or why not?

9. Something about Anne has begun to wear on Helga. What is it? Is Helga's irritability justified? Why?

10. Why would Helga become alienated in a school for Negro children? What makes her different from other faculty.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Determine the meaning of the word "outre" and explain how the concept is used in Larsen's descriptions of Helga Crane. Did Helga play the peacock role well? Did she enjoy it? Can you think of other examples of people being so different from others in their environment, that their only option is to expand on those differences? Explain your answers.

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Write about the complexities of the personality of Mrs. Hayes-Rore. Why does Larsen develop her character? What does she symbolize? Is she a typical Harlemite? Is she important to Quicksand as a character? If so, what exactly is her role in the story?

(see the answer keys)

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