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 did Crippenopoulos accuse Roger of doing?

2. On one of his solo adventures, where did Gerald find a water-spider he brought home to study?

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

4. What did Margo do daily to combat her acne?

5. What other animal had Gerald dissected before the turtle?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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. 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?

4. 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?

5. 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?

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

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

8. 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?

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

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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?

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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