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. What is the name of the relative that Pocha writes a letter to in Chapter 3?

2. What is Rioalto's first name?

3. What does Pocha's new friend do for Pocha and herself?

4. The Navy vessel that Pantoja and the Special Service are allowed to use was used for a mission in Colombia in what year?

5. How does Pocha describe the women of Loreto?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What have Poncio and his devotees been working on?

3. What happens when Sinchi, a popular local radio personality, visits the command post for the first time to have a discussion with Pantoja?

4. What does the dispatch from Rear Admiral Carrillo, Chief of the River Forces of the Amazon to Captain Pantoja's superiors say?

5. What is the issue that Pantoja is being sent to the small city of Iquitos to handle?

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

7. Why does Pantoja sample strange drinks and concoctions?

8. Why are Pantoja's coworkers concerned about him spending time with a woman named Olga?

9. What does Pantoja tell Collazos about red porpoise oil?

10. Why is Mother Leonor having a hard time in Iquitos?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What is the significance of the army's inability to keep the Secret Service a secret? When does it become clear that the mission is no longer being kept a tight secret? What seems to be the reason the secret gets out? Why do you think the army keeps adding more and more people to the circle of people who know about the mission? Why do you think they are not being more careful?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Discuss the circular narrative of the ending. Why do you think Pantoja's life goes back to normal in the end? What do you think he has learned from this whole experience? Were you surprised by the ending? What do you think the author is trying to say with this ending?

(see the answer keys)

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