Torch Song Trilogy Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. According to David, how has Arnold been since Alan's death?

2. Upon what do all four characters on stage agree?

3. Why is Mrs. Beckoff coming to visit Arnold?

4. What do Arnold and Ed manage to do?

5. What does each person begin to question?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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?

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, 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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