The Portable Dorothy Parker Test | Final 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 the narrator of "Requiescat" pray "will not rise again"?

2. What sight causes Hazel to lose her high spirits as she is on her way to meet Art?

3. Throughout their marriage, how many evenings have the Weldons experienced that are similar to the one described in "Too Bad"?

4. How does Herbie react when Hazel begins to drink Scotch?

5. What does the narrator wish for in the poem "Frustration"?

Short Essay Questions

1. In the poem "The Last Question," what is the purpose of the italicized lines?

2. Describe the narrator's tone in the story "Just a Little One."

3. How does Hazel Morse lose her own identity in her efforts to please others in the short story "Big Blonde"?

4. What kind of advice do the poems "Prologue to a Saga" and "The Lady's Reward" give to women?

5. In the story, "Lady With a Lamp," what is Mona's illness?

6. In "Soldiers of the Republic," what does the narrator learn about the life of a soldier?

7. What is the lesson behind the poem "Parable for a Certain Virgin"?

8. Compare the poems "Star Light, Star Bright--" and "Purposely Ungrammatical Love Song." How are they similar?

9. How does the resolution of "Big Blonde" illustrate that Hazel's troubles are recurrent cycle?

10. What explains Miss Wilmarth's "curious expression" in the short story "Horsie"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 3

In many of Dorothy Parker's stories, relationships become strained because the characters do not speak honestly to one another. Instead, one character will say whatever he/she thinks the other wants to hear, or characters will skirt around a subject all together. Examine how this kind of dishonesty affects relationships in Parker's short stories. Be sure to include specific examples and quotations to support your observations.

(see the answer keys)

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