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. What is the trait of Clare's that gossipers have mentioned to Irene?

2. Irene attributes Brian's complete withdrawal to

3. Why does Irene bring up Junior's exposure to sexually tainted jokes?

4. The time spent without Clare in the picture

5. Brian states that sex is a joke because

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. Why do you suppose Clare is pushing herself so rigorously to get involved in Irene's life? Why has she not chosen, for instance, Gertrude, to reacquaint her with the black culture? What is the particular attraction to Irene?

3. 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?

4. 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?

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

6. 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?

7. What is it that has kept Clare from leaving her husband and living permanently in Harlem?

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

9. 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?

10. What kind of parent is Clare Kendry? What are the clues, thus far, that help us to draw conclusions about her parenting abilities? How has Larsen informed us about this?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write a biography, from what you can find through research, of Nella Larsen and her own experiences that contributed to her stories. Are her stories autobiographical? Where did she gain knowledge of the problems of being bi-racial? What impact, if any, did her writing have on Americans?

Essay Topic 2

Why did Helga Crane not fit into the culture of Naxos? Larsen suggests several reasons, but one stands out above the rest. Helga is a complex character, but has some basic flaws that hinder her development. What were they, and how did they hurt her?

Essay Topic 3

Write an in-depth essay on Dr. Robert Anderson. There are many things about him which attract and repel Helga. What is his role in Helga's life in Quicksand? What does he represent to her? Is there anything about him that would make him more attractive to Helga than the average man? Why does Larsen include him?

(see the answer keys)

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