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

How are light and sound used to forward the plot and atmosphere of "The Verge"?

Essay Topic 2

Is Claire, a clear failure as a wife and mother, a suitable role model for women of the time period? Why does the playwright choose to make her protagonist act so coldly toward her family?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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