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. Helga thinks she has now

2. Helga shows up at the mission

3. Helga has found peace and contentment in

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

5. James Vayle is clearly

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What does Axel Olsen's portrait of Helga symbolize? Is the portrait important to the story? Why or why not?

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

5. 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?

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

7. 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?

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

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

10. Who is Uncle Peter? Why does Helga expect help from him?

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

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 3

Why did Helga Crane not fit into the culture of Naxos? Larsen suggests several reasons, but one stands out above the rest. Helga is a complex character, but has some basic flaws that hinder her development. What were they, and how did they hurt her?

(see the answer keys)

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