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. The portrait Olsen has painted of Helga is

2. Anne Grey symbolizes

3. Dr. Anderson has assumed that Helga's good qualities are due to

4. Anne does not know that Helga

5. Helga shows up at the mission

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Anne's problem with Audrey Denny? Does her hate toward Audrey make any sense? Why or why not?

2. 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?

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

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. To what do you suppose Helga is attracted in Dr. Anderson? (Hint: Up until now, the author repeatedly mentions a certain aspect of him.)

6. Discuss Helga's newly emerging feelings about the black population around her in New York. What might this mean about Helga?

7. 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?

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

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

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

Who made up high society in the black population in New York in the 1920s? What did these people do for a living? From where did their money come? Focus on three examples of historical figures and discuss their occupations and lifestyles.

Essay Topic 2

Who is Hugh Wentworth? What is his role in Larsen's writing? Do a close review of both stories and determine why Larsen includes Wentworth as a character. Is he simply a literary device for her? What does he represent?

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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