Captain Pantoja and the Special Service Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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. At what port does the Special Services' pilot mission take place?

2. What is Olga's last name?

3. What is Caiguas' first name?

4. What nickname do the prostitutes give to Pantoja?

5. The mayor of what city presents the Army with a petition asking for veterans to be allowed to receive services from the SSGFRI?

Short Essay Questions

1. On what conditions is the Special Service allowed to use a Navy boat?

2. What is surprising about Olga's funeral?

3. Why are Sinforoso Caiguas and Palominos Rioalto chosen to assist Pantoja and his new operation?

4. What preliminary instructions is Pantoja given before leaving for Iquitos?

5. Why does Pantoja begin receiving complaints from military posts?

6. How does Pantoja react when he is told of the decision to discontinue the operations of the SSGFRI?

7. What information does Maclovia reveal during her radio interview that outrages listeners?

8. Why does Panjota feel like his military career is in shambles?

9. How does Olga die?

10. Why do Navy members become upset with Pantoja and his operation?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explore the use of names in the book. Consider the names Vargas Llosa gives his characters. Which ones stand out to you the most? Why? Why do you think the author gives his characters such colorful names? What sort of tone do these interesting names add to the book?

Essay Topic 2

What is the significance of the dream Pantoja has in which Olga becomes his wife? How does this dream seem to affect him while he is having it? What is the overall tone of the dream? How does he seem to feel about the women in his life in the dream? Why do you think the dream contains several instances of mistaken identity?

Essay Topic 3

Explore Pantoja's feelings about sex throughout the novel. How does he seem to feel about sex prior to the formation of the Special Service? How do his views change? What are some examples that show how his views change? What do you think is the significance of his changes views on sex? What is the author trying to say about Pantoja as a character? What might he be saying about sex?

(see the answer keys)

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