Waiting for Lefty 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 is the relationship of the main characters in Scene 3?

2. What reasons does Joe give for not making more money?

3. What does Edna think about strikes?

4. What does Joe bring home from the war?

5. How is Miller treated at the beginning of the meeting?

Short Essay Questions

1. Is Fayette's decision to fire Miller for refusing to spy on his supervisor morally right or wrong?

2. What are Dr. Barnes and Benjamin talking about when they refer to the "disease" and how is Benjamin affected by it?

3. Why is the Voice's evidence that Clayton is a spy more credible than Clayton's denials?

4. What does Sid think will happen if he and Florence marry?

5. What colors does Joe use to refute Fatt's accusations? Describe the situation of the workers.

6. Why is Benjamin coming to see Dr. Barnes?

7. What does Benjamin decide to do after being fired, and what had he been thinking about doing?

8. How does the dialogue about smoking and drinking speak to the qualities of the two characters?

9. What does Fayette's dialogue in which he uses the words "pollacks and niggers" say about his prejudice?

10. Why does Fatt say being a "red" is so bad?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Political correctness did not exist in the 1930s, but there was certain language that did not enter polite society. In using the language of the common man and woman, Odets' play overflows with name-calling and ethnic slurs. What were your initial reactions to this language? How do you imagine individuals to whom the language referred reacted? Were you at any time uncomfortable, embarrassed or shamed by the language? Why or why not? What are your thoughts about keeping the language intact for contemporary productions of the play? Are there situations in which the play that would be best served if there were language substitutions?

Essay Topic 2

Color or the suggestion of color is used metaphorically throughout Scene 1. Name the colors and metaphors, and discuss the advantages of using color to discuss the situation occurring in the Scene. Are there particular emotions, beliefs, or rituals associated with the colors beyond the meanings implied by the metaphors?

Essay Topic 3

Money, who has it and who does not, is at the heart of this play. What are the immediate, short term, and long-term effects of the decreasing financial situation on the lives of Joe, Edna, and their family?

(see the answer keys)

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