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. What is the name of Mikey's sister?

2. What is the name of Silas's father?

3. Why does Silas call Alec after returning home from the hospital?

4. What rumor is Julian battling in his life?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Why does Silas follow Du Boise to the cafe?

4. Why can't Gracie sleep at night?

5. What happened at a dinner party, which outraged Lydia so much that she never wanted Kate near Mikey again?

6. Why does Silas phone Alec, and what is he suddenly suspicious of him?

7. How did Lydia find out about Silas's affair?

8. How does the Ali family react to Silas's seizure?

9. What family arrives at Lydia's hospital bedside, and how do they get there?

10. What is "Playing Gandhi"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Throughout the second half of the text, Mikey is performing a "separation" of his own, getting rid of all the men he believes deserve to die in South Africa. Explain what criteria Mikey uses in selecting his murder victims, and then explain how each of the murders shapes Mikey as he matures into manhood.

Essay Topic 2

The novel is entitled "Bitter Fruit" and the cover depicts a split-open pomegranate spilling its seeds or two pomegranates that are red below and green at the top depending on the edition. These elements provide rich symbolism for the story of the Ali family as a whole. Briefly describe what symbolism is held in the title of this novel, and explain how the state of the pomegranate can symbolize the plight of the Ali family throughout the text.

Essay Topic 3

The novel "Bitter Fruit" is set in post-apartheid South Africa. Even though the apartheid is no longer happening, the residual effects of this ethnic segregation are still very present in the lives of the Ali family. Briefly explain how the apartheid affected the Ali family directly, and give two examples of the residual effects of segregation that continue to affect all the black Africans living in South Africa.

(see the answer keys)

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