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. What does Claire want Elizabeth to do regarding the plants?

2. What do the random growth patterns of the plants represent?

3. What does the second house guest have in his hand when he first arrives?

4. What is the relationship between Harry and Claire?

5. What does the interior of the greenhouse symbolize?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the symbolic meaning of "The Breath of Life" in this play?

2. What does Claire repeatedly try to explain to everyone regarding her plants?

3. Describe what happens after Dick asks Claire about her plants.

4. Regarding Claire's two lovers, what action does she take when she enters the greenhouse?

5. What does Anthony offer to do when he sees that Claire has strangled Tom?

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

7. After some order has been restored in the greenhouse, Anthony remind everyone it is time to do what?

8. When the curtain opens for the second time in Act 1, what is the setting?

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

10. Anthony explains to Harry that Claire gave him what two orders?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

What Victorian values are represented by Harry and Adelaide in the play? Why are these values so distasteful to Claire?

Essay Topic 2

Given Claire's disdain for traditional womanly roles such as being a good wife, a loving mother, or a proper hostess, what values might she admire in a woman and aspire to for herself? How do these values uphold the general tone of the play in which Claire's unrest represents the struggles of women in the early days of the Women's Movement?

Essay Topic 3

The playwright plays with names in many ways, from naming Claire's love interests as "Tom, Dick, and Harry," to naming the two significant vines in the greenhouse, and even to Tom's last name, "Edgeworthy." Discuss how these name choices serve to reinforce the author's characterizations and symbolism.

(see the answer keys)

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