Quicksand and Passing Test | Final 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 teacup Irene destroys is

2. Irene does not tell Brian about bumping into Bellew because

3. How does Irene conclude that Brian and Clare are having an affair?

4. When Brian tries to talk to his sons about racism, Irene

5. When Clare falls from the window, Irene cries with

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the burden that these characters carry with them throughout the story?

2. How does this time in Helga's life compare to other times? Is it similar or different? In what ways?

3. 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?

4. 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?

5. 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?

6. 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?

7. Is there anything we can deduce about Irene's response to Clare's letter without knowing the whole story? If so, what are they?

8. Things have taken a turn for the worse at the Redfields'. What are the clues that the story is inching toward a conclusion as it pertains to the Redfields and Clare Kendry? What conclusions can we draw about this section of the story?

9. What is your initial assessment of Clare Kendry? Do we know enough about her in these first two chapters to draw any conclusions about her? If so, what would they be?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the 1920s, being of mixed race was not easy, as exemplified by these stories. How have things changed in America in this regard, or have they? Is there more freedom now for mixed marriages and bi-racial children? Why, or why not? What are some of the hardships faced by bi-racial couples and children?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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