By the Rivers of Babylon Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Nelson Demille
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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. Why does Nuri Salameh tell his wife dinner will be late?

2. What does Benjamin Dobkin carry with him to take his own life if he is captured?

3. When does Nuri Salameh believe his fate was determined?

4. Why does Jacob Hausner consider the flight of the Concordes unusually secure?

5. What information does General Talman give to Chaim Mazar to thank him for his help?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Ummah and why is it important?

2. What other military group had Teddy Laskov belonged to before he fought for Israel, and why had he left it?

3. As Benjamin Dobkin watches the attackers advance, he thinks that he would give them a low grade on tactics. What do they do wrong?

4. Why does Chaim Mazar hope that Isaac Burg, Benjamin Dobkin, and Miriam Bernstein are all dead?

5. What leads Benjamin Dobkin to decide that the terrorists are "very clever fellows"?

6. Why does Jacob Hausner say that he will help find medications that can kill a person if taken in overdose for Benjamin Dobkin?

7. What does the kheffiyah worn by Abdel Majid Jabari symbolize and why does it put him in danger?

8. Why does Abdel Majid Jabari tell Ibrahim Ali Arif that he is a very self-centered man?

9. What old guerrilla trick have the Palestinians learned from the Viet Cong?

10. Why do you think Tom Richardson reacts with such great emotion when Teddy Laskov tells him that he has to be careful in giving out the information about the protection being given for the Concordes?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Shear-jashub's name, besides identifying him as Jewish, was originally given to the prophet Isaiah's son and has deep significance. Research the meaning of the name and in your essay discuss why you think DeMille selected it for this character.

Essay Topic 2

What do you make of the fact that even hardened warriors like Jacob Hausner can quote from the Talmud by heart or that even a villain like Ahmed Rish believes in the ancient Babylonian god of wind and death? In your essay, discuss the effect of belonging to an ancient civilization on the modern characters in this story.

Essay Topic 3

Tone is the way the author feels about his subject. DeMille's tone ranges from the deeply poetic and meaningful Bible passages he quotes to bloody scenes of torture. In your essay, analyze the tone of this story. How do you think DeMille feels about the political forces behind the action in this story? How can you tell?

(see the answer keys)

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