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 Laura think Essie will think of Buddy and Laura's plan?

2. Who is Birdie Lee?

3. Who has not yet bought any holy water?

4. What would be a general description of Essie?

5. What does Laura do after they are persuaded?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do you think is the significance of Chapter 11's title "Ethiopian Eden"?

2. What do you think CJ's initial motives are in trying to get Marietta to make love with him and why do you think that changes?

3. How does Laura seem to have her moment of transformation as she comes to jail and confronts Essie?

4. Assuming many images in a short novel such as this one can be significant, of what do you think Essie's knife could be symbolic?

5. The ending of Chapter 1 and the beginning of Chapter 36, both are concerned with hymns singing to God; how are the circumstances different and alike in the two chapters?

6. What is ironic about the name of the man Laura meets in Chapter 14?

7. How do Laura's and Essie's roles reverse in this chapter?

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

9. Why do you think something that seems such a minor detail should be mentioned, such as the fact that Birdie is always running to the bathroom?

10. Why is it ironic that Laura is trying to convince Essie to do something positive with her life?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

The theme of morality is woven throughout this novel and is an integral part of understanding both the characters and the plot. Answer the following questions and write a well-developed, cohesive essay using examples from the text and your research or personal experience:

1. How would you define morality as it is used in this novel?

2. Do all the characters have the same definition of morality? How do the characters differ in the way they perceive morality and in how they perceive themselves as moral people?

3. How important is it to Essie, Laura and Buddy that they are perceived as moral people? Give examples to illustrate each person's belief. How important is it to each of those characters that they are actually moral people? Is there a discrepancy? Why do you think this is?

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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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