Bitter Fruit Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Achmat Dangor
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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. Where was Mikey's sister sent to live?

2. Where does Mikey read his mother's diary?

3. What did Silas's father leave to him after he died?

4. How does Mikey feel when he thinks about Kate naked?

5. Where does Mikey hide his mother's diary?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Kate react to Mikey while she is staying with him?

2. How does Mikey come to find himself in possession of his mother's diary?

3. What is Mikey's reaction to reading that he is the product of a rape in his mother's diary?

4. When Silas returns from the hospital, where he attempted to pick up Lydia, what fears is he suddenly seized with?

5. What is "Playing Gandhi"?

6. How does Lydia react to the broken glass beneath her feet?

7. Why does Kate begin to grow suspicious of her secret meetings with Mikey?

8. What two revelations does Lydia make when the letter arrives to her from Martha in Toronto.

9. Why does Mikey travel to Shirley Graham's home and what is her reaction to hosting him?

10. Why does Lydia have to stay as long as she does in the hospital, and how does she pass her days there?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Perhaps Silas's biggest character flaw lies in his complete passivity in regard to his family. Give three clear examples of times when Silas acts passively when the circumstances ask more of him. What effect does Silas's passivity have on his family life? Finally, explain whether or not you believe Silas overcomes his passivity by the end of the novel, and why.

Essay Topic 2

Mikey is arguably the character that undergoes the greatest transformation in this novel. Describe Mikey's character at the beginning of the novel and compare/contrast that to his character at the end of the novel. What are the most important transformations Mikey undergoes both physically and emotionally in the text?

Essay Topic 3

Throughout the novel, Silas struggles to reconnect to his wife, Lydia, but finds himself unable, or unwilling, to reach her. Give two examples of times in the novel when Silas tries to reach out to his wife but fails. Then, briefly explain why each of his attempts fails. What hidden demons continue to haunt Silas in his marriage?

(see the answer keys)

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