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. Why will Ed not introduce Arnold to his parents?

2. How does Ed feel about Alan?

3. What revelation from Ed hurts Arnold's feelings?

4. What is Alan's response to Arnold's declaration?

5. What character is the first to appear?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are two examples of how Arnold rationalizes his behavior?

2. What evidence is there that Arnold is not a regular in the back room of the International Bar?

3. What happens when Arnold gets Ed on the phone?

4. When and why is Laurel visiting Arnold?

5. How do each of the men (Ed and Arnold) feel about the possibility of a renewed relationship?

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

7. What musical term is used in this scene and explain why it is used.

8. Define the term "fugue," and how it is applicable in this scene.

9. Why do you think the author uses the word "Stretto" again in naming this scene?

10. Describe a little about Alan and also the relationship between Alan and Arnold.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In "The International Stud: Scene 2," the scene opens with Lady Blues completing a song. Discuss the following ideas in a well-developed essay using specific examples both from the text and any research you complete:

1. What do you think is the purpose of Lady Blues' character?

2. Some interpretations suggest she serves as a sort of "Greek Chorus." Research the role of a Greek Chorus and explain it and then give your idea as to how Lady Blues might be a sort of Greek Chorus?

3. What sort of mood do her songs establish? Do they foreshadow the mood of the following action?

4. Do you believe Lady Blues adds to the entire work or just distracts from the main action? Explain your rationale.

Essay Topic 2

In "The International Stud: Scene 3," Arnold finally contacts Ed, who admits he is dating a woman. It seems likely from the conversation between Arnold and Ed that Ed is very aware of family and societal pressures to be "normal." Choose one of the following topics and write a well-developed essay using specific examples both from the text and any research you complete:

1. In what ways does the culture in which you live define normalcy as heterosexuality? Use examples from movies, t.v., school, church, and other cultural institutions. Discuss the ramifications of bucking cultural pressure and living life as a homosexual.

2. How does one's family of origin help shape one's perceptions of what is normal? What sort of overt, covert, and unconscious pressure is placed on one to conform to one's family's definition of normal? What are some behaviors and beliefs that are considered normal? Give examples both from the play, Torch Song Triology and your own life.

3. Discuss three famous people who have chosen to live apart from what is considered normal: not necessarily as homosexuals, but in any way that society might label as different or not normal. Do you admire these people's choices? Do they violate any moral laws according to how you have been raised. Could you see your self making a similar choice? Include, if you are comfortable in doing so, ways that you have chosen to be or do what is considered not normal.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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