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. Dr. Anderson would hope that Helga would, instead, prefer to

2. Olsen refers to Helga's refusal of him as

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

4. Her decision to marry Pleasant Green is Helga's way of

5. Helga leaves Denmark with the expectation of

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. Discuss Helga's new exuberance as the wife of a minister.

3. How did her religion help Helga through difficult times?

4. What is the author's intention when she puts the two women together in the hotel restaurant scene? What conclusions can we draw from Irene's memory of that day?

5. Discuss how giving birth to her fourth child seems to be Helga's breaking point. Why does this happen? What does the death of her infant symbolize?

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

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. What is the YWCA and why is Helga there? Is this a safe haven for her? Does it meet her high living standards?

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

10. What do we know about Clare Kendry from her letter to Irene? What do we know about her from this chapter?

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

From a woman's perspective, did Larsen break ground for or elevate women in her writing? For blacks? For black women? How did Larsen's characters portray women, in general? Was it constructive? Do the characters provide an example of strong, evolving womanhood? Why, or why not?

Essay Topic 3

There are several mentions of "uplift" of the Negro race in the 1920s. Research and write about at least three organizations whose cause it was to uplift the race, what they did, and whether they still exist. Are there any of these still in existence today? If so, where are they headquartered and what is their creed or motto?

(see the answer keys)

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