The Verge 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. Who is the only character onstage when the curtain opens for the second time in Act 1?

2. Who is the first house guest to arrive at the greenhouse?

3. What is the special plant in the greenhouse called?

4. When Claire becomes frustrated with Elizabeth, what does Claire want to do?

5. What does Claire require the second house guest to do before she will let him enter the greenhouse?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Harry realize when he sees that Claire has strangled Tom?

2. When Claire and Tom are alone in the tower room, what does Claire admit to Tom, and what is his response?

3. Why is Harry angry the first time he appears onstage?

4. Why is Claire unhappy, even though "The Breath of Life" bloomed beautifully?

5. Describe what the audience sees when the curtain first opens in Act 1.

6. At the end of Act 2, what does Claire ask of Dick while they embrace?

7. When Tom realizes the greenhouse door is locked, what does he do?

8. At the end of the play, Claire has lapsed into madness. Why does the playwright choose to end with Claire singing the verses to a religious hymn?

9. For what two specific family-related matters does Adelaide chastise Claire?

10. Following the exchanges between Claire, Adelaide, and Harry, what does Claire do and how do other characters respond?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Claire's husband, Harry, seems to find insight into Claire's needs and motivations only after he sees that she has strangled Tom. Why did this murderous action prompt understanding when her work with the plants did not?

Essay Topic 2

How does the playwright use sound to illustrate Claire's need to find meaning in her life at the expense of others? Consider the wind, the buzzer, and the Victrola as examples.

Essay Topic 3

How do Claire's plants illustrate her emotional state and the dissatisfaction of some women during the era of the play?

(see the answer keys)

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