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. What or who is Fabre?

3. Who was George?

4. What are elvers?

5. How did Gerald's family react to seahorses?

Short Essay Questions

1. What did Gerald and Theo discover on their excursion to the lake? Why was this discovery exciting for Gerald?

2. 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?

3. What did Gerald bring with him for his nighttime fishing expedition? What did he do with his treasures before returning home? What did Taki give Gerald to appease Mother for the late hour of Gerald's return?

4. 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?

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

6. 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?

7. 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'?

8. 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?

9. What was "catching cuttlefish with love?" How did it work? What was Gerald's response to this interesting fishing style?

10. Who did Margo and Gerald discover lived on Mouse Island? How did they first discover this person? How did they eventually appease this inhabitant's ire?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Before Chapter Four, Durrell has placed a quote from Professor Anstead, "Hospitality is, indeed, now no less than in classical times, a sacred duty in these islands, and it is a duty more conscientiously performed." How does this quote apply to the Durrell family? What are some examples of the hospitality they have offered to guests? What kinds of hospitality have been offered to them?

Essay Topic 2

Describe Mother and her different roles in the memoir. She is a mother and the keeper of the Durrell family. What else does the reader know about her from reading the memoir? How does she relate to others?

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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