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 is the second sound the audience hears in Act 1?

2. What does Harry confide to the first house guest?

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

4. Why is there no heat in the house, even though the greenhouse is warm?

5. Why can't the second house guest enter the greenhouse?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Harry realize when Claire runs to Dick?

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

4. What is the connection between Claire and Elizabeth?

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

6. Why is Anthony upset when Dick rushes into the greenhouse for shelter?

7. Why is Claire frustrated by her inability to explain the importance of her plants?

8. What is Dr. Emmons' diagnosis and recommendation regarding Claire?

9. Describe the setting of Act 2.

10. What is the profession of Claire's lover, Dick? How is his profession indicative of his character?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Why does Claire prefer her greenhouse plants to grow wild and untamed? Does this mesh with the extreme care she takes to protect the plants from nature? How do these answers support the theme of the play?

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

During the play and in her past, Claire has broken several of the Ten Commandments. And yet, at one point she asks Tom to say something pleasant about God, and at the end of the play she sings hymns. What do these contradictory behaviors reveal about Claire and about the playwright's attitude toward Claire's struggle?

(see the answer keys)

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