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. What does Laura do after they are persuaded?

3. Of what does Essie say there will be none?

4. What could the wine glass symbolize as far as Laura's character?

5. Who does Laura meet as she is closing the church one night?

Short Essay Questions

1. What truth do you think Birdie Lee might reveal in the future as foreshadowed in Chapter 19?

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

3. What does it say about Laura as a person to send Marietta downstairs to get Essie knowing what Marietta will find?

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

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

6. Of what might the serpent with eyes that sparkle like diamonds in Chapter 11 be symbolic?

7. How does previous foreshadowing play out in Chapter 30?

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

9. How does the relationship between CJ and Marietta compare to that of Laura and Buddy in Chapters 26 and 27?

10. How do the images of light and dark represent the way the white man Marty is involved behind the scenes in the church?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Much of the imagery in this book is religious in origin; none more so than the Garden of Eden imagery. Answer the following questions in a well-developed, cohesive essay using examples from the text and your research or personal experience:

1. Research the story of the Garden of Eden and give a very brief synopsis and interpretation of the story as told in Genesis.

2. Go through the book and cite all the images that are related to the Garden of Eden. Explain what the image is; how it is related to the Garden of Eden; and any symbolism it may represent.

3. Several characters at various times play the role of the serpent or "tempter." Find several instances when a character is fulfilling the role of tempter (or temptress) and discuss what is happening, why, and the resolution.

4. How does the ending of the book offer two different versions for the Garden of Eden? (i.e. one character is thrown out of the Garden, the other chooses to continue to cultivate the garden to create an even lovelier paradise). Was this ending inevitable? Where could things have changed for Laura so that she could have remained in the Garden?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Throughout the novel, Essie's search for spiritual fulfillment is contrasted to Laura's quest for physical/material gratification. 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. Compare and contrast the concepts of spiritual fulfillment versus physical/material gratification using both examples from the book and in your own experience.

2. Describe fully Essie's search for spiritual fulfillment, using specific examples from the novel. Do you think she is successful by the end of the novel?

3. Describe fully Laura's search for physical/material gratification, using specific examples from the novel. Do you think she is successful by the end of the novel?

(see the answer keys)

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