Birds, Beasts, and Relatives Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Gerald Durrell
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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. What was the Greek name for Mouse Island?

2. Who were Widdle and Puke?

3. What did earlier naturalists call the rotifer?

4. What did Theodore give Gerald for his birthday?

5. What or who is Fabre?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who was Sven? How did he come upon the Durrell family? What was Sven's unusual talent that drove the family crazy? What did Gerald learn Sven had in common with him?

2. What creature did Gerald discover on an afternoon trek to the lake alone? Why was this creature especially important to Gerald? What was unique about this creature?

3. What was the "hypocritical prayer?" What did Gerald observe about this creature?

4. Where did Taki take Gerald to catch fish? What unusual method did Taki use to catch fish? What strange fish did Taki catch that fascinated Gerald? What did Gerald learn about the fish Taki caught?

5. Who did Mother hire to be Gerald's tutor? How did the two initially get along? What did his tutor do that changed Gerald's perspective on learning?

6. What did Gerald do with the crab he and Roger discovered on one of their walks? What did Gerald find fascinating about the crab that led him to further exploration?

7. What dead creature did Gerald load onto his boat and bring home from the bay? What did he do with it upon coming home? How did the family react to his newest creature?

8. What did Larry offer to teach Gerald about caring for Sally? What important piece of information did Larry not know that caused him trouble? What happened?

9. Who is the narrator of the story? What do we learn about him in the opening "Conversations?" Where is his home?

10. How did Gerald's family react to the seahorses? What unusual thing did Theodore teach Gerald about seahorses?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the importance of the chapter "Interlude for Spirits" to the memoir. Why did the author choose this title for the chapter? How does this chapter fit in with the rest of the memoir? Which characters are in the spotlight in this chapter and why?

Essay Topic 2

There are many important scenes in the memoir in which the whole family reacts to something Gerald has done. One is the family's reaction to Pavlo. Another is the description of the turtle on the veranda. By their reactions, the family provides us with important parts of their personalities. Compare and contrast these two important examples of the family reacting to something Gerald has done, and discuss what we learn about the people involved.

Essay Topic 3

The writer uses dialogue to enhance the characters and often to inject humor into a situation. What are three examples of memorable dialogue in the memoir? Why are they memorable, and why are they important to the memoir?

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