Michael Delahoyde, PhD

Professor of English

Humanities in the Modern World
Midterm Exam Spring 2021

Humanities 304 — Delahoyde
Washington State University


I. IDENTIFICATIONS. [10 questions; total 20 points.]

Maybe match Column A with Column B; or identify the character who says, “Give it me, Léa, give me your pearl necklace!” — that kind of question, only a bit more difficult. These questions will be inflicted individually and intracerebrally during the scheduled class period, Friday, March 5th. I will e-mail you the questions (both as e-mail text and as a Word doc) by 1:00pm and will expect answers (either format) e-mailed back to me individually by 2:00pm.

And there is No Exit!

II. QUOTATIONS. [8 questions; total 40 points; “Take Five” points each.]

Included in the same e-mailing will be a combination of identification and, more importantly, significance questions, following quotations from the literature, musical excerpts, and images from the other relevant materials selected for their representativeness of our discussions on key points during these first weeks. This is not Trivial Pursuit, and I derive no glee from stumping you; but you do need to recognize key ideas and moments from the works and from our class interactions. If you have spent time with the material and paid attention in class, only a close review of notes is necessary for preparation. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a “Mood Indigo.”

III. TAKE-HOME ESSAY. [Total 40 points.]


DO THIS NOW! Answer the following prompt thoroughly and precisely in a minimum of three (3) pages, double-spaced. The essay should be a virtuoso piece of brilliance manifested in impressive eloquence, with facile reference to specifics from an assortment of the 20th-century materials.

    An e-copy of the essay is due on exam day — Friday, March 5th, 1:00 pm — to be dropped in Blackboard in the Discussions section.

  • What good are the early 20th-century arts and humanities to us living in 2021?

    [Beware inauthentic fake answers. If you assert that we get a better sense of the times and its people, then the new question is simply what good is that? Note also: this is not solely an art essay, and it is not a history essay.]

The essay is due in Blackboard at the start of exam time, prior to the other “in-class” components of the test. Here is more Essay Advice.


Identify the character, author, or thing referred to (underlined) in the following.

“Naked, if need be,” she would say,”but squalid, never!”


“Where is my son?”
“Tomorrow, thousands will ask in anguish, where is my son?”


He has been dubbed “the father of electronic music.”


The art movement represented by Isamu Noguchi’s Table, Charles Eames’ Plywood Chair, and Eero Saarinen’s TWA Building.


* * *

* * *

Answer completely but concisely the following.

“Come closer. Closer. Look into my eyes. What do you see?”
“Oh, I’m there! But so tiny I can’t see myself properly.”

Identify the author and the work.
What important concept is the author trying to conveythrough this kind of seemingly trivial moment?

Observe the image on the back of this exam page.

What 20th-century art movement is represented here?
Upon what features can we make such an identification?
Do you agree with the philosophy behind such art? Why or why not?

Listen to the musical excerpt.

What eastern European composer and ethnomusicologist wrote this piece?
If this is, in a sense, “program music,” what is the program or story behind it? What musical evidence do you have?

BIG DAY: FRIDAY, MARCH 5th, 1:10 pm.