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. How does Ed respond when he answers the phone?

2. Who visits Arnold backstage after Arnold's performance?

3. What does Arnold think of the gay bar scene?

4. What does Ed ask the person with whom he is conversing?

5. How could Arnold's emotion be described when he is in the back room?

Short Essay Questions

1. Is it wise for Arnold to both accept an invitation to visit Ed and Laurel and to take Alan along?

2. Describe how Laurel is feeling. Do you think she has the right to feel this way?

3. What potential conflicts could ensue by the coming together of Arnold, Ed, and Alan?

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

5. Describe the opening to this scene.

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

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

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

9. What message is implied in Laurel's regret at not inviting Alan and Arnold to the wedding?

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

In the second "Fugue in a Nursery, Stretto," Ed seduces Alan in the barn despite being in a supposedly monogamous relationship with Laurel. Discuss the following ideas in a well-developed essay using specific examples both from the text and any research you complete:

1. Why do you think Ed is so attracted to Alan?

2. Do you think Ed is actually gay and cannot resist being with men? Explain.

3. Do you think what Ed does is immoral? If yes, for what reasons? If no, why not?

4. Is it possible that Ed is bisexual? If so, how do you think he can resolve wanting to be with both men and women? Is a monogamous relationship possible for a bisexual individual?

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

In "The International Stud: Scene 1," Arnold shares his frustrations at the lack of true love in his life despite all his attempts and all the humiliations and betrayals that plague a homosexual man. Discuss the following ideas in a well-developed essay using specific examples both from the text and any research you complete:

1. What sort of humiliations and do you think a gay man might endure? From whom?

2. Do you believe it is okay to humiliate and harass gay men? Explain your point of view.

3. Have you ever been humiliated for some reason? How did you feel during the time it was happening?

4. Did it make you more or less likely to do the same to someone else?

(see the answer keys)

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