Tambourines to Glory Test | Mid-Book 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 does Essie want to do with the money?

2. What does Chicken-Crow-For-Day throw out the window?

3. Why does Laura want to start a church?

4. Where do Buddy and Laura go?

5. What do Essie's imaginings lead her to do?

Short Essay Questions

1. In Chapter 20, Laura gives some details about her early childhood; in what way is Laura the same as her mother?

2. How is the title of Chapter 28 also relevant in the relationship between Laura and Essie?

3. Why do you think Essie refuses to throw away her knife as Laura urges her to do?

4. Which woman would you support in the argument about what to do with their first 2,000 dollars and why?

5. What do you think might be the significance of the title "Palm Sunday," of Chapter 1?

6. How is the title of Chapter 28, "Cross to Bear" relevant to Buddy and Laura's relationship?

7. What does Laura suggest near the end of chapter eight that seems to set the dynamics of how Essie and Laura participate in the "church" and what do you think might be the consequences?

8. What do you think is the significance of the title of Chapter 17, "Lights Out"?

9. What is ironic about Laura's thoughts about Buddy in Chapter 30?

10. Laura needs Buddy to be softer and more loving. Does this surprise you and do you think Buddy is capable of that?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The chapter titles in this book are very important both as clues to the content but also as symbolic representations of events and characters. Choose one of the following questions and write a well-developed, cohesive essay using examples from the text and your research or personal experience:

1. Choose two chapter titles other than "Palm Sunday" and "Visions of a Rock" and explain fully why they are titled as such, how the title informs the events of the chapter, and the title's symbolic meaning. Is the title effective? Does it fit the content of the chapter?

2. In a detailed essay, explore the chapter title "Palm Sunday" and its symbolic significance both in the events in that chapter and throughout the book.

3. In a detailed essay, explore the chapter title "Visions of a Rock" and its symbolic significance both in the events in that chapter and throughout the book.

Essay Topic 2

Chapter 10, "The Fix" is an interesting juxtaposing of spiritual with moral corruption. Answer the following questions in a well-developed, cohesive essay using examples from the text and your research or personal experience:

1. What do you think Laura's motives are for her actions in this chapter, particularly regarding soliciting money from gamblers, pimps and prostitutes and bribing cops?

2. Are Laura's lack of integrity and her resulting actions for a good cause justifiable? Give examples from this chapter and others. Why or why not?

3. Do you think Essie should be more forceful about stopping some of Laura's actions? Do you think she knows about the bribes to cops?

4. What could Essie do to stop Laura now when corruption has not become an established way of life for Laura?

Essay Topic 3

This novel is replete with symbolism, especially religious symbolism of a Judea-Christian origin. Choose one of the following questions and write a well-developed, cohesive essay using examples from the text and your research or personal experience:

1. Describe all the symbolism around the River of Jordan, its relation to Christianity, its meaning to Blacks as originated with those in slavery in the United States, and how it is used in this novel.

2. Discuss the symbolic meanings of Tambourines in the novel, giving specific examples. How are Tambourines both a symbol of spirituality and materialism? Why do you think the author names the novel TAMBOURINES TO GLORY?

3. Discuss the idea of ascension and how it is symbolized in the novel. How does the idea of ascension differ depending on the character?

(see the answer keys)

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