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 character is the first to appear?

2. With what is Ed conflicted?

3. What does Murray want Arnold to do?

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

5. With whom is Arnold talking?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who is the main character present at the opening of this scene and what is the setting?

2. Describe the opening to this scene.

3. How does the conversation end?

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

5. Who do you think has the most to lose by this weekend encounter?

6. What do Arnold and Laurel discuss?

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

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

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

10. Describe Ed Reiss.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

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 first "Fugue in a Nursery, Stretto," the author continues to craft the piece metaphorically as a musical fugue, in which the term stretto is used in this scene. 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 "stretto" in terms of musical composition.

2. Briefly discuss how you think this term is appropriate to the action in this scene.

3. Do you as a reader and/or audience member think the extended metaphor in which the author engages in naming some of the acts is appropriate? What about if one has no musical knowledge?

4. What is most effective and least effective in how the author frames this play around the organization of a fugue?

(see the answer keys)

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