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

2. What does Arnold aver to Alan?

3. What does Arnold admit to himself?

4. Who are onstage at the opening of this scene?

5. Where is the setting in Scene 3?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What in this scene indicates the differences between the two couples?

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

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

6. Describe Ed Reiss.

7. Where are Ed and Alan and what are they doing?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the following ideas in a well-developed essay using specific examples both from the text and any research you complete:

1. The title of this scene is "Fugue in a Nursery, Codetta." Define the word "codetta" as it applies to music.

2. How do you think a codetta applies to this scene?

3. What do you think the dominant theme of this scene is? Does this relate to the idea of a codetta?

4. If you were a musician, what type of music would you use in this scene (jazz, classical, rock, heavy metal, rap, etc...) Why?

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

In "Fugue in a Nursery, Nursery: A Fugue," the action takes place in a huge bed in which Arnold, Alan, Laurel, and Ed all sit or recline depending on the action. The stage lights focus only on the characters that are speaking at the time, a staging element that eliminates the need for scenery. The characters stay in the bed even though they could be at completely different locations throughout the act. Discuss one of the following topics in a well-developed essay using specific examples both from the text and any research you complete:

1. How effective do you think this type of staging is?

2. If you were a director, how would you direct this type of staging?

3. Do you think this scene is staged this way solely to eliminate the need for scenery? What other reason might the author have for setting the stage this way?

4. Do you think an author should give any, many, or all the stage directions for a play s/he writes? Explain.

(see the answer keys)

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