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 has Irene heard about Clare since they were young?

2. What is the implication that surrounds Clare's rich white male companions?

3. In her illness, Helga is unable to

4. For more than a week, Helga remains in a state of

5. In this section, Clare is now

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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

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. How did her religion help Helga through difficult times?

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 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?

7. 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?

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

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. 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

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

How is Larsen's own attitude toward black women's sexuality revealed, both in Quicksand and Passing? Was Larsen a prude? Was she concerned about the stereotyping of black women? If so, how does she demonstrate her attitudes in these stories?

(see the answer keys)

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