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. After Murray tells Sandra he probably loves her, Murray tells her she has small what?

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

3. Whose bathrobe does Sandra use?

4. Who is the protagonist in <i>A Thousand Clowns</i>?

5. Who is Margo?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Murray want Arnold to get angry?

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

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

4. Describe what Arnold's office looks like.

5. What does the conversation consist of between Nick and Sandra in the beginning of Act 2, Part 3?

6. Sandra starts sobbing about a lot of different things that are frustrating her about her job and her life. Describe some of the things that she is crying about to Murray at the end of Act 1, Part 3.

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

8. Describe Albert.

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

10. Describe Leo.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The Child Welfare agent, Albert, comes across as stuffy in the play. He takes his job seriously and doesn't really look for the good in some people. Why do you think Albert's nature is important in the play, A Thousand Clowns? Explain your reasoning and how you think the play would have been different if Albert had been more like Sandra.

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

A Thousand Clowns has a reoccurring theme of humor. Murray uses humor and jokes quite often to help him solve his problems or reason with other people. Why do you think Murray uses humor to solve his problems? Does it work for him? Why or why not? Are there other characters in the book that use this same method of persuading people or solving problems with humor? If yes, who and what things do they do that are similar to Murray?

(see the answer keys)

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