A Thousand Clowns Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Herb Gardner
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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. When Murray sits on the swivel chair, where does Sandra sit?

2. In Act 1, Part 1 where does Nick say he's been staying?

3. What does Arnold leave as he enters?

4. Whom does Nick do an impression of when Sandra is questioning him?

5. What type of animal does Nick's mother have with her?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens when Sandra starts asking Murray about the job interview?

2. While Albert and Sandra are having their private conversation, Murray is doing peculiar things while he waits. Describe what Murray is doing to keep himself occupied while he waits for Albert and Sandra.

3. What is Leo's breakdown for the time allotment with his show?

4. What is Murray and Arnold's discussion about in Act 2, Part 1?

5. Describe Nick.

6. Describe the opening scene as the play begins in Act 1, Part 1.

7. Describe the last scene before the curtains close on the final act.

8. In the opening of Act 2, Part 1 Murray has three different phone calls. Describe each of them.

9. Why does Murray want Arnold to get angry?

10. As the curtain goes up at the beginning of Act 3, Part 1, what is Murray doing?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Albert and Sandra are Child Welfare agents in the play A Thousand Clowns. Besides working together as partners, Sandra and Albert are also dating at the beginning of the play. Compare and contrast Sandra and Albert's characters in detail. Do they make good working partners? Why or why not? Do they make a good couple? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

The play takes place in Manhattan around the 1950s and 1960s. What elements does Herb Gardner add to the play to make you believe that you are looking in on someone living in Manhattan? Discuss ways that Gardner makes this believable. Discuss other people, places, or objects that are and could be included in the play that fit right in with the time period and place.

Essay Topic 3

Do you think the conflict that Murray has to overcome during the play is mostly internal or external? Describe Murray's conflicts throughout the play. How does Murray try to overcome these conflicts? Does Murray solve his conflicts? If so, how? What objects, people, or ideas cause Murray the most conflict? How does Murray deal with these struggles? Do you think he handles them well? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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