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. How does Edna react to Joe's attempts at affection?

2. What does Edna tell Joe to do to help improve the financial situation?

3. What color is the hair of Joe and Edna's children?

4. What does Joe call Edna after she says that he is "crawling like a worm?"

5. What does Edna think she is turning into?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are the first indications that Joe and Edna are having financial problems?

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

3. Who speaks for the workers?

4. What, if anything, justifies Fatt's use of a spy to avoid a strike?

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

6. How does Joe explain his change in attitude about the need to strike?

7. Are there real advantages of looking at strikes in the laborer's own industry rather than work in general, as Fatt suggests?

8. What are two main themes contained in Scene 4 and how are they manifested?

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

10. What are several factors that have contributed to Benjamin's removal from surgery?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Several characters in the play mention Hollywood or the movies. In what ways do1930s Hollywood influence the characters and their lives? What other media is stressed as important and why?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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