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. Who is jealous of Alan?

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

3. What is the setting at the opening of this scene?

4. What is a stranger doing to Arnold?

5. What is the setting at the opening of the play?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. Give an example of the sexual liaison in the back room and how you interpret the example.

5. Describe the situation at the beginning of this scene.

6. Why does Ed come to the theatre and what happens at the beginning of the conversation?

7. Describe the opening to this scene.

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

9. How are Arnold and Alan's conversation similar to that of Ed and Laurel?

10. What is the resolution at the end of this scene?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Many times during the era when this play is written, and even now in the first decade of the 21st century, the stereotype of homosexuals, especially male homosexuals, was that they were promiscuous and both unwilling and unable to commit in a loving, monogamous relationship. Discuss the following ideas in a well-developed essay using specific examples both from the text and any research you complete:

1. Do you believe the characters in this play exhibit the stereotype discussed above? Support your answer with specific details from the text.

2. How do you think stereotypes are developed? Name several stereotypes you know about several groups or types of people. How accurate do you think those stereotypes are? Which of the stereotypes which you discussed in number 2 do you believe are true? Which do not seem to be true? Explain your answer.

3. Do you belong to a group for which there are stereotypes? How does that make you feel?

4. If you do not belong to a group which tend to be stereotyped, think of some negative characteristic or trait and pretend it is a stereotype for a group to which you belong (gender, race, age, etc.) How would you feel if everyone you met assumed you possessed that characteristic even before the person got to know you?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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