Quicksand and Passing Test | Lesson Plans Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

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

How is Larsen's own attitude toward black women's sexuality revealed, both in Quicksand and Passing? Was Larsen a prude? Was she concerned about the stereotyping of black women? If so, how does she demonstrate her attitudes in these stories?

Essay Topic 2

Compare and contrast Helga Crane with Clare Kendry, then expand on the theme of these two stories. How are the two stories alike? How are they different? Compare Helga Crane with Irene Redfield, and then with Clare Kendry. Between which of the two is she most like?

Essay Topic 3

Write a well-researched essay on the effects of early American blues music on women's sexuality and the perceptions that surrounded it, before and since. Was there a "code" of sexuality for women during the 20s in black Harlem? How did music influence or coincide with that code?

(see the answer keys)

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