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

2. How does Joe feel about being the man of the house?

3. What does Joe tell Edna he had for lunch when he gets home from work?

4. Who is the smoker and drinker in Scene 3?

5. Who has ordered the research in Laboratory A?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Agate's approach to the workers compare with that of Clayton the spy's approach in Scene 5?

2. How are Scenes 1 and 2 related?

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

4. Why does Edna threaten infidelity as a way to convince Joe to support a strike?

5. What contributes to Dr. Barnes' deep anger about rich men taking away his power to influence medical care? How does he express it?

6. Why doesn't Edna want Joe to yell?

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

8. How do Agate's and Fatt's picture of "reds" differ?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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

The contributions of extended family members are critical to the survival of Florence and Sid's families. How would Florence's family change had she ignored Irv's insistence that she not get married? What are your thoughts about Florence's rights to her own life?

Essay Topic 3

Odets' play has been called dated because of the language. The slang and figurative language almost demand a close reading of the play with a good dictionary at hand. How does the language aid communication and relationships in the 1930s? What does it communicate about the speakers and listeners? What if anything could have influenced the language of the working class? What if any contemporary communications are comparable to Odets' language?

(see the answer keys)

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