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 becomes the two women's church?

2. What does Laura say about Essie that is hurtful?

3. What are Laura's robes like?

4. What would be a general description of Laura?

5. What does Laura think Essie will think of Buddy and Laura's plan?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. At the beginning of Chapter 1, how are the two women described and what might be construed by these descriptions?

4. What two things are mentioned that have already been mentioned in previous chapters and what might be the significance of their being mentioned again?

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

6. What does Laura tell Essie about Marietta and CJ and why do you think she does so?

7. Assuming many images in a short novel such as this one can be significant, of what do you think Essie's knife could be symbolic?

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

9. How is the title of Chapter 34 related to the New Testament?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

In addition to much symbolism in this novel, there are also a number of metaphors. 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. Define metaphor and symbolism and compare the two using specific examples both from the book and other sources. Which do you feel is more effective? Which seems better at expressing the idea of an abstract concept? Why would you use one over the other--give specific examples.

2. For what do you think the mural of the Garden of Eden that is described in chapter 11 is a metaphor? Explain using specific examples. Does the metaphor work for you?

3. Write a real or hypothetical situation in your personal experience that includes one or more abstract concepts and then create a metaphor to express that experience. Next, choose a way to use symbolism in the telling of the experience. Which way seems more effective at portraying the experience?

Essay Topic 2

In Chapter 14, "Enter Buddy," a new character is introduced and one who has great influence on the events of the rest of the book. 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. Write an in-depth character analysis of Buddy. Include a physical description, personality traits, and what beliefs motivate him. What do you like and dislike about this character? Why? Give specific examples.

2. Describe the process whereby Buddy gradually takes over much of the way the church is managed. How is he able to do this? What could Essie have done to stop him?

3. How could Buddy be likened to the serpent in the garden of Eden (unlike being compared to Adam as Buddy does so himself)?

4. Do you think Buddy deserves what he receives in the end? Explain fully with examples.

Essay Topic 3

Getting the most out of this novel requires some familiarity with the environment of Harlem during this era. Answer the following questions and write a well-developed, cohesive essay using examples from the text and your research or personal experience:

1. What was Harlem? Who settled it originally and when did it become a predominantly African American borough?

2. How does Harlem of today differ from the Harlem at the time of the novel? How do you think this novel would be different if set in modern-day Harlem?

3. How does the setting of Harlem inform the plot and actions of this novel? Give examples.

(see the answer keys)

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