The Portable Dorothy Parker 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. According to the poem "Indian Summer," how has the narrator changed since her youth?

2. What grade does the narrator give to a "passing fair" lady in the poem "Roundel"?

3. Who is Mrs. Corning?

4. How does Midge change the rules of their game at the end of "The Standard of Living"?

5. How does Mr. Durant react to Rose's announcement that she will not return and does not want to see him again?

Short Essay Questions

1. In "The Standard of Living," how are Midge and Annabel affected by the news of the actual price of the necklace in the shop window?

2. What does the short story "The Sexes" reveal about the relationship between the young man and the girl he is dating?

3. Describe the role of Mrs. Whittaker in the story "The Wonderful Old Gentleman."

4. Why is Mimi upset by her husband's compliment about her black dress in "The Lovely Leave"?

5. How does "A Telephone Call" reinforce Dorothy Parker's perspective regarding the relationship between men and women?

6. Explain the irony in the poem "The False Friends."

7. Why does the young bride in the short story "Here We Are" worry about the fact that so many people get married every day?

8. Why is the girl in "The Sexes" rude to the young man?

9. In the short story, "The Wonderful Old Gentleman," what influence has the Old Gentleman had on the Bains' lives in the five years that he has lived with them?

10. In "The Standard of Living," why does Midge become so upset over Annabel's imaginary purchase of a silver fox coat, and what does her reaction suggest about her personality?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Examine Dorothy Parker's "Self Portrait" and her letters. What do these pieces reveal about her as a person? How do these revelations compare to the themes and characters that she writes about? Be sure to include specific examples and quotations to support these observations.

Essay Topic 2

Describe Dorothy Parker's poetic style. How does she use rhyme, rhythm, and sound? How does she use suspense and irony? How would you describe the tone and mood of her poetry? What are some common themes that she deals with? Be sure to use specific examples, especially quotations, to support your description.

Essay Topic 3

Analyze the ways in which some characters in Dorothy Parker's short stories exert control over other characters. What methods do they use to gain and maintain this control? What purpose does this control seem to serve? What seems to be Parker's attitude toward these "controlling" characters? Be sure to include specific examples and quotations to support your points.

(see the answer keys)

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