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. Irene allowing Clare into the private rooms of the house symbolizes

2. Irene knows that she and Brian and their children belong

3. Brian states that sex is a joke because

4. Brian would rather be living in

5. What feelings come up for Irene when remembering her visit with Clare in Chicago

Short Essay Questions

1. What is odd about the initial meeting among Irene, Gertrude and Clare? Are these conversations typical among women friends? What, if anything, makes the visit among the three women unusual?

2. 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?

3. What, exactly, does Irene fervently wish John Bellew could know? Why?

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. After two years pass, Clare again wants to become involved in Irene's life. Is Irene's reaction negative or positive? Explain her reaction.

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

7. 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?

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

9. 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?

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

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

Compare and contrast Helga Crane with Clare Kendry, then expand on the theme of these two stories. How are the two stories alike? How are they different? Compare Helga Crane with Irene Redfield, and then with Clare Kendry. Between which of the two is she most like?

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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