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. Why doesn't Nick go to school?

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

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

4. When Murray tells Albert that Sandra is in the closet, what does Albert think?

5. After Sandra tries to rush to the bathroom, what does Murray hand her?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the "situation" at school that Nick needs to discuss with Murray?

2. When Nick enters in Act 3, Part 1, he states that because Murray has gone out to find a job that he has decided that he needs to take care of a matter also. What matter is this and what has Nick done?

3. Why does Albert think Nick should leave the room?

4. Why does Murray want Arnold to get angry?

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

6. Describe Leo's appearance as he enters Murray's apartment.

7. 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.

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

9. How does Sandra's demeanor change after the doorbell rings at Murray's apartment and she hears that Albert is at the door?

10. Describe Leo.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

How is the theme of selfishness shown in this play? Discuss the characters that are most affected by this theme and explain the way they are affected.

Essay Topic 3

Herb Gardner does a fine job of developing the character of Murray Burns. Describe in detail the characterization of Murray Burns from the start of the play to the end of the play. Make sure to include details about Murray's physical characteristics, his actions, his reactions, and even perhaps what his thoughts may be. Include specific examples from the play.

(see the answer keys)

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