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. What does Alan share with Arnold?

2. How much time has passed since the last scene?

3. What characters are on stage at the opening of this scene?

4. Whom is Laurel calling?

5. What are Arnold and Alan more resistant to than eating breakfast?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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

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 3

In "The International Stud: Scene 5," Ed talks to Arnold after Arnold's performance. Arnold expresses his hurt that Ed was/is unwilling to introduce Arnold to his parents as Ed's lover. 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 Ed is being fair to Arnold? Why or why not?

2. What do you think you would do if you were Arnold in this scene?

3. Have you ever had a friend or romantic interest that you would be unwilling or hesitant to introduce to your parents? Did you do it anyway? Why or why not?

4. If Arnold were to go to a therapist or "peer counselor" and describe the situation with Ed, what do you think that person would tell Arnold? Would you tell Arnold the same thing?

(see the answer keys)

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