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 "Bootle-bumtrinket?"

2. Who did Gerald convince to build him a boat?

3. Where was Mouse Island?

4. What was the narrator's name in Greek?

5. How did Mother describe Sven Olsen as he left her home?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why did the narrator, Gerald, and his family go to Greece? Where in Greece did they settle? What details did the narrator give about their 'home away from home'?

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

3. What did Gerald do upon catching a seahorse while fishing with Kokino? Where did he find them? How many seahorses did he find in all, and what did he do with them?

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

5. What kinds of spiders did Gerald find on the island? What did he witness one day while observing one of the spiders he had caught?

6. Where did Gerald go to thank Katarina for giving him Sally? What was happening when Gerald arrived at Katarina's? What did Gerald do?

7. Who is Taki Thanatos? How did Gerald meet him? What did the two share in common? Where did Taki want to take Gerald?

8. What was the "Bootle-bumtrinket?" How did Gerald get it and what did he do with it?

9. 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?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Larry is the oldest child in the family, and Gerald's oldest brother. Write a character sketch for Larry. Include his role in the family, his various interests, and his most noticeable personality traits. Also draw your own conclusions about his behavior, his feelings about his family, and specifically his feelings for Gerald.

Essay Topic 2

What is the "olive merry go round?" How does it work, and what does it do? How does Gerald discover it and its owner?

Essay Topic 3

Gerald Durrell ended his memoir with the short paragraph "Lulled by the wine and the throbbing heart of the boat's engine, lulled by the warm night and the singing, I fell asleep while the boat carried us back across the warm, smooth waters to our island and the brilliant days that were not to be." Discuss this sentence, its relevance to the memoir as a whole, and the "days ahead" for the family.

(see the answer keys)

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