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 Brother Francisco's religious title?

2. How many men have supposedly killed themselves over Olga?

3. According to his mathematical calculations in Chapter 2, Pantoja determines that in order to meet demand, a total of how many services from prostitutes will be necessary on a monthly basis?

4. What is Olga's nickname?

5. Pocha says Leonor cries like whom at her soap operas?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Where does Pantoja's family hope he relocates?

4. How has Pocha adapted to life in Iquitos?

5. What does Pocha say in a letter to her sister Chichi in Chapter 3?

6. Why does it take Pantoja and his crew a week to turn the Itaya depot into a suitable work space?

7. What do Pocha and Alicia spend their time doing?

8. Why is Pantoja happy at the beginning of Chapter 5?

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

10. Why does Pochita think Pantoja is up to no good after their first night in Iquitos?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What is the significance of Olga's murder to the rest of the novel? Why do you think Olga is killed off in the story? Are you surprised by her fate? Why or why not? How does her murder move the plot of the story along? Do you think it is significant that her murder is the result of a botched plan to kidnap and rape her? Why do you think Vargas Llosa chooses to kill her this way and not actually be purposefully be murdered by Moray and his men?

Essay Topic 2

Explore the use of secondary characters in the novel. Why do you think the author introduces them all so soon in the narrative? What purpose might this serve? What purpose do the secondary characters serve? Why are there so many of them? What point is the author trying to make?

Essay Topic 3

What is the significance of the formal tone used in Pantoja's communications with his superiors? What are some examples of the formality of Pantoja's tone in his memos? Why do you think the author has his character use this formal tone, especially given the subject matter of sex? What goal is he trying accomplish with his narration?

(see the answer keys)

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