Torch Song Trilogy Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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 the singer finish singing?

2. Why does Arnold go to the gay bar?

3. What does Arnold express to Ed about their relationship?

4. What style is the dialogue in this scene?

5. What does Murray look like?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Arthur going to do onstage?

2. What could be a possible reason for the torch song between each scene?

3. Describe the interactions of the characters on stage at the opening of this act.

4. What does Arnold reveal in his one-sided dialogue?

5. What do Arnold and Laurel discuss?

6. What is the purpose of Laurel's phone call to Ed. What do you think are her motives?

7. About what is Ed reading and what is opinion of the subject?

8. When scene 3 opens, who is on the stage and what is he doing?

9. What in this scene indicates the differences between the two couples?

10. What is the significance of the term "Stretto" in this scene?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In "Fugue in a Nursery, Subject," in a conversation between Ed and Laurel, Ed restates his jealousy of Alan and the resentment of Alan's presence in Arnold's life and at the house this weekend. Discuss the following ideas in a well-developed essay using specific examples both from the text and any research you complete:

1. Do you think it is fair for Ed to feel jealous of Arnold having Alan when Ed left Arnold for Laurel? Explain your opinion.

2. There is a saying that "one cannot help how s/he feels." Give your response to this statement, using examples to illustrate your ideas.

3. Do you think Arnold is jealous of Laurel? Why or why not?

4. Even if a person cannot help how s/he feels, the person can control how s/he acts upon those feelings. Do you believe this statement is true? Why or why not? Give specific details to support your statements.

Essay Topic 2

In "Fugue in a Nursery: Prologue," it is obvious that Laurel and Ed end up together. Discuss one of the following topics in a well-developed essay using specific examples both from the text and any research you complete:

1. Compare and contrast the way a heterosexual versus a homosexual relationship might be different in the day to day living of it.

2. Discuss how the lack of legal rights may help or hinder a gay relationship. Should homosexual relationships enjoy the benefits of legality? Why or why not.

3. Compare and contrast the attitude towards homosexuals in the early sixties with the attitudes in the first decade of the 21st century.

Essay Topic 3

In "Fugue in a Nursery, Codetta," Ed reads a newspaper to Laurel about a love affair between an 80-year-old woman and a boy of fifteen. Discuss one of the following topics in a well-developed essay using specific examples both from the text and any research you complete:

1. The American culture is often characterized as being preoccupied with youth. Do you think the reality of an actual love affair between a 15 year old and an 80 year old has even happened in a culture such as the United States? What are the legal ramifications of such a romance? Disregarding any sexual aspects of such a relationship, what do you think two people of such disparate ages would have in common? In what areas would there likely be conflicts? Could you imagine being in a relationship with someone several decades older than you are? Explain.

2. A "cultist" movie called Harold and Maud was released in 1971. It was centered around just such a relationship as that mentioned in Torch Song Trilogy between a teen and an elderly woman. Watch the movie and write a literary criticism on it, including a personal "reader (viewer) response."

3. In many cultures today, and most in earlier centuries, marriages were arranged around political and financial goals for those in the higher echelons of a country. Often a child was engaged to an adult and the marriage is consummated when the child is of acceptable age. Discuss the following question using specific examples: Would you prefer to be of the wealthy class and have a life of privilege but have an arranged marriage to someone you detest, or would you prefer to be a peasant who worked in hard physical labor but was able to choose your spouse? Discuss the pros and cons of both situations and then explain why you would choose whichever you choose.

(see the answer keys)

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