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 Essie want to discuss with Laura?

3. How long has it been since Essie has seen her daughter?

4. What sound is heard outside as Buddy and Laura talk?

5. What does Laura ask when Essie encourages her to read her Bible?

Short Essay Questions

1. In Chapter 21, narration expounds on what it means to go "North" to Southern Negroes; summarize narrations statements.

2. What do you think one of the main themes might be just based upon the differences in the two major characters as shown in this opening chapter?

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

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

5. How would you summarize the most overarching theme of this book?

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

7. Do you think Buddy's conversion is sincere?

8. Why do you think the author has Buddy proposing that the fake holy water they are selling be said to be water from the River Jordan?

9. Why do you think the drums always stop just before Laura makes her entrance?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

The author continually foreshadows future events in earlier chapters. 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. What is the purpose of foreshadowing? Is it necessary? Why do you think this author chooses to use a great deal of foreshadowing? Do you think he includes too much foreshadowing? Or not enough? Explain.

2. Choose two major events that occur near the end of the book and trace how those events have been foreshadowed. Was the foreshadowing successful? Was it necessary? If there had been no foreshadowing, would you have responded differently to the events?

3. Foreshadowing seldom is as clear in "real" life as in novels. Discuss the idea that much of life is foreshadowed using specific examples from your own or others' lives.

Essay Topic 3

Chapter 17, "Lights Out" is significant in that it is where Laura begins to make choices that set her on the path that leads out of the Garden of Eden. Answer the following questions in a well-developed, cohesive essay using examples from the text and your research or personal experience:

1. How is the title of this chapter symbolic of where Laura is in her life by the end of this chapter?

2. What are some actions Laura takes that show her descent into darkness? Could she have avoided them or was she already too far into the grips of greed and addictions?

3. What do you think Marty would have done if Laura had changed her mind at any point in the book and chosen a path of greater integrity for her role in the church?

4. How do you think Marty responds to Laura's absence from the church and his source of funds being dried up? Do you think Essie has a fight on her hands?

(see the answer keys)

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