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 try to explain to the first house guest?

2. What happens after the first character onstage exits?

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

4. Who requested that breakfast be served in the greenhouse?

5. What is the first thing the audience sees in Act 1?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. Describe what the audience hears when the curtain first opens in Act 1.

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

4. What does Tom want to tell Claire early in Act 3?

5. Following Tom's rejection of her advances in the tower room, what does Claire do?

6. At the beginning of Act 3, what does Hattie urgently tell Anthony?

7. What are the names and conditions of the two special plants in the greenhouse?

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

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

10. How does Anthony respond to Hattie's information?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Why is the play titled, "The Verge"? The main characters are on the verge of what? The greenhouse plants are on the verge of what? Society is on the verge of what?

Essay Topic 3

Why does Glaspell introduce several of the characters via an unusual and convoluted breakfast scene, featuring confusion about salt and pepper, a gun, Claire's inability to express herself, and a dropped egg?

(see the answer keys)

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