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 want to play a greater role in church services?

2. For what does Laura say they need money?

3. When do the women actually start preaching?

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

5. What do the two say about Essie?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do you think the tambourines represent and why it is the title of the book?

2. 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?

3. Just as Laura says she is like her mother in many ways, in what ways does Laura contrast herself to her mother?

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

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

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

7. How do you think the classic Aesop's fable about the tortoise and the hare seems to be a good metaphor for what is happening in Essie and Laura's life?

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

9. Do you believe Buddy really is upset that Essie does seem to believe his conversion is sincere?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In many ways, Laura is a much more complex character than Essie. She exhibits a wider range of emotions and makes more paradoxical choices. Answer the following questions in a well-developed, cohesive essay using examples from the text and your research or personal experience:

1. Going through the book, find various emotions which Laura expresses and discuss several of them and their causes and resolutions.

2. What emotions do you think ultimately leads to Laura's downfall? What emotions do you see in her that could have turned her from the choices she makes and her attendant downfall?

3. Discuss several of Essie's predominant emotions and the causes and how they affect her choices.

4. Essie seems far simpler than Laura: Do you think Essie's simpler personality helps her to stay focused on spiritual goals? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

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 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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