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. Who does Joe call a Wop?

2. In Scene 3, what changes the employee's mind about the new work assignment?

3. Who initially insists that the action of many can accomplish what one cannot?

4. What quality in employees does the company reward?

5. What does a main character complain that the talk of Lefty has turned the meeting into?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Joe and Edna's relationship like?

2. How does the cry to strike become a battle cry?

3. Is Florence right to put the family ahead of what she wants? Why or why not?

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

5. How do you think Irv feels as a result of his behavior toward Florence?

6. What do you think Sid and Florence feel by the end of Scene 4?

7. Is Fatt respected by the workers?

8. What is the point of emphasizing the closeness of Philadelphia to the workers?

9. How does Odets forewarn the audience of Lefty's death?

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

The first character introduced in the play is Fatt, who is described a certain way. Discuss the symbolic meaning for this character's name and appearance in relation to the situations in the play. Compare and contrast Fatt with Joe. How do you imagine Joe to look, and why use the name Joe? Whom do these two characters stand for? Who is the protagonist? The antagonist? What evidence supports your claims?

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

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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