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 are Laura's robes like?

2. Who is Birdie Lee?

3. What do the two say about Essie?

4. What does Laura want to do with the money?

5. What does Essie do when Laura inspires her?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do you think the reason is for Essie's pauses, the first of which we see in Chapter 2?

2. What rationale does Laura use to try to convince Essie to start a church with her and does it seem a reasonable rationale?

3. How is the narration's description of the North being a Black mecca ironic?

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

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

6. What does Laura suggest near the end of chapter eight that seems to set the dynamics of how Essie and Laura participate in the "church" and what do you think might be the consequences?

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

8. 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?

9. A psychological aberration is a person who is called a sociopath. A very loose definition would be someone unconcerned with the consequences of his/her actions on others and who rationalize their actions. Who seems to have sociopathic tendencies as shown in chapter 10 and why do you say that?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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

This book was written during a literary movement called the "Harlem Renaissance." It is an important movement in the United States, not just in literature, but in many other areas. Answer the following questions in a well-developed, cohesive essay using examples from the text and your research or personal experience:

1. Research the movement known as the "Harlem Renaissance" (also known as the Black Literary Renaissance and the New Negro Movement) and give a synopsis of what it is and what areas it encompassed.

2. How does this movement impact the lives of African-Americans at this time? Of other Blacks in other countries? Of Whites?

3. Discuss some of the accomplishments of this movement in the literary field and in at least three other areas of the social/political environment.

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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