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. At the tea, Clare is

2. At the tea, Irene is

3. Clare is upset that she will have to leave New York to

4. When it comes to Clare's motives, Irene is

5. What has Irene heard about Clare since they were young?

Short Essay Questions

1. Clare attends the Negro League dance with Brian and Irene. What does the dance symbolize in the story? Why is Irene careful to arrange a ride home for Clare?

2. 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?

3. 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?

4. 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?

5. 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?

6. 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?

7. 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?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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

Write about the complexities of the personality of Mrs. Hayes-Rore. Why does Larsen develop her character? What does she symbolize? Is she a typical Harlemite? Is she important to Quicksand as a character? If so, what exactly is her role in the story?

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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