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. When do the women actually start preaching?

2. How does Buddy refer to Laura and himself?

3. How does Laura describe the church apartment?

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

5. What does Essie do when Laura inspires her?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Laura "fight unfair" in Essie and Laura's argument in Chapter 13?

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

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

4. What does Laura do to keep the cops from shutting down their church?

5. Do you think Essie's journey towards spiritual enlightenment is helped or hindered by being thrown into jail?

6. Why do you think Chapter 33 is titled "Watch with Me"?

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

8. What is ironic about the beginning of Essie and Laura's church?

9. How do you think Marietta feels having been raised in the rural South to arrive in Harlem and find an older, very attractive man flirting with her?

10. 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?

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

Chapter 15, "Enter Marty" introduces a new dimension to Essie and Laura's ministry. Answer the following questions in a well-developed, cohesive essay using examples from the text and your research or personal experience:

1. Does it surprise you that a white man is the power behind "the throne" in Harlem in this time period? Explain. Explain the term "the throne" and the irony involved.

2. Why do you think the "Negroes" (the term for Blacks in that era) put up with a white man running the show on their turf? Do you think they eventually change that?

3. Who do you think runs the "throne" in Harlem now? Is the power in white or black hands or both? Or some other?

Essay Topic 3

Chapter 12, "Dyed in the Wool" is a very significant theme in this novel. Answer the following questions in a well-developed, cohesive essay using examples from the text and your research or personal experience:

1. Research and explain the phrase "dyed in the wool." Where did it come from? What century? What was its original meaning? What has it come to mean now as an aphorism?

2. How does this phrase describe Essie at the beginning of the book? Is it still applicable to her at the end? Explain with examples.

3. How does this phrase describe Laura at the beginning of the book? Is it still applicable to her at the end? Explain with examples.

4. How can the phrase "dyed in the wool" be either a positive characteristic of someone or a negative? Give a couple examples from your own life.

(see the answer keys)

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