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. Where are all of the characters in the opening of this scene?

2. What is one possible theme in this scene?

3. How does Arnold feel about the possible visit?

4. What is the relationship between Arnold and the person he is taking with him to Ed and Laurel's?

5. What does Laurel want?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Why is Laurel mentioned in Ed's phone conversation with Arnold?

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

5. What do Arnold and Alan decide about their relationship?

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

7. Describe Ed and David's interaction on the park bench.

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

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

10. Why does Ed think Laurel is attracted to gay men?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 the similarities and differences of the themes among the three plays.

2. Write a possible scene that takes place a year later.

3. Choose one character and follow his/her development and growth (or lack of growth).

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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