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

2. How much does Sandra say it cost her parents for her to go to school?

3. Whose bathrobe does Sandra use?

4. What is the name of the school that Nick attends?

5. What is the name of the person that Nick has been staying with when Murray is "working"?

Short Essay Questions

1. When Murray's sister, Elaine, showed up at his apartment, what things did she bring with her?

2. Describe Sandra and Murray's morning routine in Act 2, Part 1.

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

4. What does it mean when Arnold tells Murray that he floats around like a balloon and everyone is waiting around with a pin?

5. After Murray starts talking about how he was apologizing to random people on the street, what is Sandra's reaction?

6. What happens when Murray heads to the door on his way to congratulate Irving R. Feldmen?

7. Why does Arnold come to Murray's apartment in Act 3, Part 1?

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

9. When Albert takes Sandra aside to have a private conversation, what do they talk about?

10. Describe Murray's morning routine.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

A Thousand Clowns was nominated for a Tony award for Best Play in 1963. Describe what elements in the story make it a good candidate for a successful play. Why? Also discuss elements that might not be as good or desirable and why you feel this way. Would you want to see a play like this on Broadway? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

The character, Sandra, brings a feminine quality to the play overrun by male characters, and she brings her own feelings of loneliness, insecurity, and doubt along with her. Describe Sandra's character in detail and explain reasons for her personality traits. Is she a needed character in the play? Why or why not? How would the play be different if Sandra's character was a male? Do you think it was a wise decision on the part of Herb Gardner to include a lone female character? Why or why not?

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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