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. 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

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 2

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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