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. How long is Mimi's husband supposed to have for leave in the story "The Lovely Leave"?

2. Who is Mrs. Corning?

3. Who invented the rules for the game that Annabel and Midge play?

4. How does the woman in "The Waltz" respond to the young man who asks her to dance?

5. At the end of the story "Arrangement in Black and White," what detail of the dinner party is the woman eager to share with her husband?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is ironic about Mrs. Martindale's volunteer efforts in the short story, "Song of the Shirt, 1941"?

2. 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?

3. What is the cause of the underlying tension between the young bride and the groom in "Here We Are"?

4. Compare and contrast the poems "The Trifler" and "Braggart."

5. What is the irony in the end of the short story "The Waltz"?

6. What does Mr. Durant's reaction to Rose's situation and her departure reveal about him?

7. Compare the poems "Social Note" and "For An Unknown Lady."

8. How might Mrs. Martindale solve Mrs. Wyman's problem and her own at the same time?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Examine Dorothy Parker's use of death imagery in both her short stories and her poetry. What purposes does this imagery serve? What themes do these images support? Be sure to use specific evidence and quotations to prove your observations.

Essay Topic 2

Some of Dorothy Parker's short stories follow a traditional story format of narrative and dialogue, while others rely simply on one-sided dialogue. Examine these two different approaches to storytelling and evaluate the effectiveness of each. What does Parker achieve by only giving one side of the conversation in some stories? Why might some stories require more complete description? How might the stories be different if she chose a different approach? Be sure to provide specific examples and quotations when appropriate.

Essay Topic 3

Dorothy Parker often portrays the relationship between men and women as adversarial. Support this observation by providing and analyzing evidence from both her short stories and her poetry. Be sure to use specific examples and quotations when appropriate.

(see the answer keys)

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