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 push off the table?

2. Who is Elizabeth?

3. Which is the best description of Anthony?

4. In the second part of Act 1, who enters after Harry exits?

5. What is the second sound the audience hears in Act 1?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Who is the first house guest to enter the greenhouse, and what is his first topic of conversation?

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

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

5. What is the significance of the plant being called "The Breath of Life," and what is the symbolic importance of the act of blooming?

6. What character is onstage alone at the beginning of Act 2, and which two characters join the first character?

7. What is the symbolism of the tower room?

8. When Claire and Tom are alone with "The Breath of Life," what offer does he make to her?

9. What is the connection between Claire and Elizabeth?

10. What do Claire and Tom discuss regarding "The Breath of Life"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Research and discuss the historical context of this play. What rights were denied to women at the time, and what rights or choices did some women of the time seek to gain?

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

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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