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

2. What is the backroom of a gay bar?

3. Where is Arnold at the opening of this scene?

4. Why will Ed not introduce Arnold to his parents?

5. What is another topic that Arthur shares when he is talking onstage?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is a side effect of the weekend visit of Alan and Arnold to Ed and Laurel's?

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

3. What is the resolution at the end of this scene?

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

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

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

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

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

9. What are two examples of how Arnold rationalizes his behavior?

10. What evidence is there that Arnold is not a regular in the back room of the International Bar?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 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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