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 style is the dialogue in this scene?

2. How much time has passed since scene 2?

3. What is annoying to Arnold about his conversation with Ed?

4. Who does Arnold plan to bring with him?

5. What is the main content of the monologue?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why do you think Ed Reiss insists that he dates women as well as men?

2. Who is Mrs. Beckoff and describe her initial impressions during her visit to Arnold.

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

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

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

6. With whom is Ed speaking and what is the content of the conversation?

7. What might be a couple reasons why Laurel's plan is not successful?

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

9. What happens when Arnold joins Ed and David on the park bench?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In "The International Stud: Scene 5," Ed talks to Arnold after Arnold's performance. Arnold expresses his hurt that Ed was/is unwilling to introduce Arnold to his parents as Ed's lover. 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 Ed is being fair to Arnold? Why or why not?

2. What do you think you would do if you were Arnold in this scene?

3. Have you ever had a friend or romantic interest that you would be unwilling or hesitant to introduce to your parents? Did you do it anyway? Why or why not?

4. If Arnold were to go to a therapist or "peer counselor" and describe the situation with Ed, what do you think that person would tell Arnold? Would you tell Arnold the same thing?

Essay Topic 2

In the scene titled, "Fugue in a Nursery, Counter Subject," Arnold and Alan are resistant to joining Ed and Laurel in their "normal" Sunday routine. 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. Discuss how the term "Counter Subject" is used in musical compositions (particularly in the musical composition of a fugue) and how it is applicable to the action of this scene. Be sure to use specific examples and details.

2. Using the entire play as a source of material, outline Laurel's actions and manipulations, both implied and explicit, and discuss whether she has been successful and appropriate in her behavior.

3. Discuss the commonalities among all the main characters, (Arnold, Alan, Ed, and Laurel) as to their wants and needs as human beings in relationship. Can their needs/desires be universal to all humans? Explain.

Essay Topic 3

In "The International Stud: Scene 4," Arnold participates in anonymous sex with a stranger. Though it is not explicitly stated, it is likely given the time period in which this play is written that Arnold and the stranger did not practice "safe sex." Discuss the following ideas in a well-developed essay using specific examples both from the text and any research you complete:

1. Define the term "safe sex."

2. Considering that the AIDS epidemic had not yet surfaced, was it wise of Arnold to engage in sex with a stranger? Explain your rationale.

3. Do you believe it is important to learn about safe sex at school? Would the school or parents do a better job of explaining the essentials of Safe Sex?

4. Is school a proper place to gain sex education? Does your school require sex education? Explain your answers.

(see the answer keys)

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