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. Nick and Murray try to guess where Sandra comes from based on what?

2. How tall is Nick's plastic hula dancer?

3. When Albert comes to the door, how do Murray and Sandra know he is there?

4. What does Murray say he always takes in his martini?

5. What does Nick say he remembers about his mother?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Arnold mean when he tells Murray to leave the dragons alone?

2. Describe Murray and Nick's "act" that they perform for Leo.

3. Describe Murray.

4. What happens during Murray's lunch with Jimmy Sloan?

5. Describe Leo.

6. When Murray calls Margo, what message does she tell Margo to relate to Arnold?

7. Why does Sandra consider herself not to be a leader?

8. Who is Irving R. Feldman and why is his name brought up in the play, <i>A Thousand Clowns</i>?

9. Describe some of the people and experiences that Murray has during his "apology spree."

10. Describe Sandra.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the play, A Thousand Clowns Murray Burns and Arnold Burns are brothers. Even though they are related, Murray and Arnold are completely different people. Compare and contrast the two brothers in detail. Explain their relationship to one another and how they affect each other during the play.

Essay Topic 2

The protagonist in the play is Murray Burns. When a protagonist of a story doesn't quite live up to hero status, he or she is sometimes referred to as an anti-hero. Discuss the ways that Murray Burns proves to the reader that he is an anti-hero. Do these qualities make him more likable? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

In the play, A Thousand Clowns, Nick is in danger of being removed from Murray's care. This is obviously a serious issue and concern for most people, but why do you think the writer, Herb Gardner, took a comedic approach to something that could be so dramatic? What differences would the story have if it were a drama instead of a comedy? Would you have enjoyed the play as much? Which characters would change and which characters would remain the same? Why?

(see the answer keys)

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