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. Where is Alan?

2. To whom is Ed reading?

3. What do Laurel and Ed do despite the presence of Alan and Arnold?

4. Who does David respect tremendously?

5. What does Arnold believe validates Laurel's attraction to gay men?

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

Discuss the following ideas in a well-developed essay using specific examples both from the text and any research you complete:

1. The title of this scene is "Fugue in a Nursery, Codetta." Define the word "codetta" as it applies to music.

2. How do you think a codetta applies to this scene?

3. What do you think the dominant theme of this scene is? Does this relate to the idea of a codetta?

4. If you were a musician, what type of music would you use in this scene (jazz, classical, rock, heavy metal, rap, etc...) Why?

Essay Topic 3

In "Fugue in a Nursery, Codetta," Ed reads a newspaper to Laurel about a love affair between an 80-year-old woman and a boy of fifteen. Discuss one of the following topics in a well-developed essay using specific examples both from the text and any research you complete:

1. The American culture is often characterized as being preoccupied with youth. Do you think the reality of an actual love affair between a 15 year old and an 80 year old has even happened in a culture such as the United States? What are the legal ramifications of such a romance? Disregarding any sexual aspects of such a relationship, what do you think two people of such disparate ages would have in common? In what areas would there likely be conflicts? Could you imagine being in a relationship with someone several decades older than you are? Explain.

2. A "cultist" movie called Harold and Maud was released in 1971. It was centered around just such a relationship as that mentioned in Torch Song Trilogy between a teen and an elderly woman. Watch the movie and write a literary criticism on it, including a personal "reader (viewer) response."

3. In many cultures today, and most in earlier centuries, marriages were arranged around political and financial goals for those in the higher echelons of a country. Often a child was engaged to an adult and the marriage is consummated when the child is of acceptable age. Discuss the following question using specific examples: Would you prefer to be of the wealthy class and have a life of privilege but have an arranged marriage to someone you detest, or would you prefer to be a peasant who worked in hard physical labor but was able to choose your spouse? Discuss the pros and cons of both situations and then explain why you would choose whichever you choose.

(see the answer keys)

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