Trivia Quiz for “The Dead” by James Joyce (1924), and
Dream Story by Arthur Schnitzler (1926)
For West Seattle “Classic Novels (and Movies)” book club, 12/11/22
With answers below
A. “The Dead”
1. Despite being called a “great affair,” the description of the Misses Morkan’s annual dance reveals hints of their modest status in Dublin society. Which of the following details is not mentioned, about their home and party?
a. The caretaker’s daughter (instead of a stately butler) answers the door and welcomes in the guests.
b. The guests include family, friends, and pupils of the hostesses, who earn money by giving music lessons.
c. Their feast is composed of leftovers, artfully concealed under thick sauces, accompanied by watered-down wine and stale bread.
d. The women live in a rental, the upper part of a “dark gaunt house”—and have done so for the past thirty years.
2. One of the main concerns of the hostesses, during this event, is to avoid a certain disgrace. Which one of the following explains their fear?
a. They fear Mary Jane’s former lover might show up and cause a scene.
b. They fear the men will start fighting about Irish politics, as often happens at their gatherings.
c. They fear an old friend might show up drunk and behave poorly, thus embarrassing them in front of the music students, many of whom belong to better-class families.
d. They fear the landlord might come upstairs to argue about the noise.
3. The main character, Gabriel, is described as having all but one of the following traits. Which is not in “The Dead”?
a. He is their favorite nephew.
b. They haven’t seen him for years since he’s often abroad, as a member of the merchant marine.
c. He is son of their dead elder sister who had married a man from the Dublin Port and Docks.
d. He is their favorite choice for presenting Christmas speeches, given his education and literary career.
4. Gabriel’s mood is darkened during the evening by a few minor incidents; which of the following is not mentioned?
a. The caretaker’s daughter turns sour after he mentions her future wedding and rebuffs his friendly gesture.
b. The sight of his dead mother’s photo reminds Gabriel that she once opposed his marriage to his wife, Gretta.
c. The sound of people’s feet dancing overhead makes him worry that his speech is too high-brow.
d. A drunk woman makes fun of his “Continental” accent.
5. In the end, Gabriel espies his wife listening to some music. This episode stirs up equivocal feelings. Which of the following is not a consequence of that moment?
a. He sees “grace and mystery in her attitude, as if she were a symbol of something.”
b. “A sudden tide of joy went leaping out of his heart.”
c. Gretta starts to sob, remembering a boy she once loved, and who sang that song for her.
d. He realizes that “her face was no longer beautiful” and it makes him sad.
e. All of the above are a consequence of the music.
B. Dream Story
6. Schnitzler’s story builds on a strange experience which inspires a sequence of events. Which of the following describes the initial experience?
a. A husband and wife attend a concert where they hear an old song the wife once loved, and which reminds her of lost love.
b. A husband and wife attend a masquerade ball where people make passes at them, separately, thus inflaming their sexual desires.
c. A husband and wife attend a political meeting and the husband is inspired to get involved, much to his wife’s regret and anger.
d. A husband and wife attend a family gathering where people tell dirty stories that make them ashamed of their past.
7. The text contains hints of a message throughout, in sentences such as all but one of the following. Which one is not in Dream Story?
a. “Uneasy, and tormenting themselves, each sought … to draw out confessions from the other.”
b. “All at once those insignificant events were imbued, magically and painfully, with the deceptive glow of neglected opportunities.”
c. “There’s no dignity to be had in being a slave.”
d. “No dream is entirely a dream.”
8. Maxims from the underworld. During a weird evening, one hears some warnings/advice. Which of the following is not said by shadowy strangers in Dream Story?
a. “There’s nothing here to smile about.”
b. “It is not a question of satisfaction, but one of expiation.”
c. “When a promise has been made here there is no turning back.”
d. “Here it doesn’t matter whether you have forgotten the password or if you never knew it.”
9. Which one of the following words is seen to have a special power, lending logic and synchronicity to the action in Dream Story?
C. BOTH BOOKS TOGETHER!
10. Which quote from “The Dead” sounds like it applies to the characters in Dream Story?
a. “One by one they were all becoming shades. Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither with age.”
b. “It was the rule, that was all.”
c. “’When we are hungry we are all very quarrelsome.’ ‘And when we are thirsty we are also quarrelsome.’”
d. “To follow the voice … was to feel and share the excitement of swift and secure flight.”
7. c. (That quote is from The Remains of the Day.)
8. a. (That quote is from The Discomfort of Evening.)
10. a., b. or d.
Come back next month when we’ll discuss a classic of Russian literature!
Date & time: Sunday January 22, 2023: 3:00-4:30pm. Trivia Quiz is posted on this blog afterwards, each month.
Place: C and P Coffee House on California Ave SW: outdoors, on back patio
Event: West Seattle Classic Novels (and Movies) book club meets to discuss The Master and Margarita, by Russian novelist Mikhail Bulgakov (published posthumously in 1966-67, written from 1928 to his death in 1940).
contact person: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for reading,
and happy holidays to you and yours!