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 calls Arnold?

2. What reveals Arnold's remaining hurt over the end of the relationship?

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

4. About what does Laurel seem particularly smug?

5. What style is the dialogue in this scene?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What happens when Arnold gets Ed on the phone?

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

4. How does Ed think his parents feel about homosexuality and how does that figure into his dating Laurel?

5. Describe the opening to this scene.

6. Give a brief description of the opening to this scene.

7. Why are Arnold and Laurel in the kitchen together?

8. What could be a possible reason for the torch song between each scene?

9. Describe the fight between Arnold and his mother after the news of David's adoption was discusssed.

10. How does the conversation end?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In "Fugue in a Nursery, Coda," several things are revealed: Laurel leaves Ed; Ed justifies sex with Alan, and Alan and Arnold commit to a permanent relationship. 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. Trace the development and the ups and downs of Arnold and Ed's relationship. Evaluate the various phases of their relationship and give your opinions and evaluation of the relationship.

2. The men seem to think of the sexual liaison between Alan and Arnold as basic human frailties, while Laurel seems to view it as a serious hindrance to Ed and her relationship. Discuss the stereotyped differences between men and women's attitudes toward sex, monogamy and intimacy; then comment about whether you think these stereotypes are more or less accurate in reality.

3. Alan and Arnold seem to work out their relationship (at least for now) despite Alan's infidelity; whereas, Ed and Laurel are having a rougher time getting past Ed's infidelity. In evaluting both couples' relationships as revealed throughout the entire trilogy, discuss what are the signs and foreshadowing that the two couples would resolve the problem in the way that they did. Which couple do you think was the wiser? Healthier? Had a stronger desire to be together?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

In "Fugue in a Nursery, Subject," in a conversation between Ed and Laurel, Ed restates his jealousy of Alan and the resentment of Alan's presence in Arnold's life and at the house this weekend. 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 it is fair for Ed to feel jealous of Arnold having Alan when Ed left Arnold for Laurel? Explain your opinion.

2. There is a saying that "one cannot help how s/he feels." Give your response to this statement, using examples to illustrate your ideas.

3. Do you think Arnold is jealous of Laurel? Why or why not?

4. Even if a person cannot help how s/he feels, the person can control how s/he acts upon those feelings. Do you believe this statement is true? Why or why not? Give specific details to support your statements.

(see the answer keys)

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