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 narrator's name in Greek?

2. Which creature was most interesting to the narrator when he first settles into his new residence?

3. What did Gerald discover about the turtle he found in the waters one day while fishing?

4. The day before his birthday, what did Gerald notice about his family?

5. How did Taki catch the fish he found lying on the shore?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who was the first friend the family made upon arriving on the island of Corfu? What important help did this new friend give Gerald and his family?

2. 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?

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

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

5. Who was Roger? How did Gerald meet Roger? What did Gerald and Roger do together on the island?

6. What was the set pattern Theo and Gerald had established for their excursions? What was the first thing they did when settling into a new spot?

7. 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?

8. 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?

9. What did mother have Costas construct in the yard? How did she explain the construction to Gerald? What was Gerald's mother really having built and why?

10. Who was Sally? Where did Sally come from? How did the name Sally come to be? Why was Gerald excited to have Sally as a member of the household?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In almost all chapters of his memoir, Chapter Ten excluded, Durrell introduces new people into the story. Discuss the purpose of the introductions of Sven Olson, Donald and Max, and Captain Creech. What purpose do these people serve in the story, and what does their presence in the chapter allow Durrell to remember about his family members?

Essay Topic 2

The final section of the book is entitled "Mail." What is in this chapter? Why is it important to the memoir? What do we know after reading the mail about the family and about Corfu?

Essay Topic 3

Throughout the memoir, Gerald Durrell uses the five senses to enhance his detailed descriptions of life on Corfu. Discuss the use of this device as a means of description in the memoir. Include examples of some of the senses that Gerald depends on in his life in nature.

(see the answer keys)

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