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 nickname do the prostitutes give to Pantoja?

2. What do people begin carrying around with them after someone is sacrificed?

3. In what year is the Special Services' pilot mission?

4. Why does Pantoja say to stay away from a type of porpoise oil?

5. What is the new name of the Navy ship Pantoja and the Special Service are allowed to use?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. What is Dispatch Number 2?

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

7. Why are people in Moronacocha heralding a young boy as a martyr?

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

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

10. Why is Captain Pantoja being relocated in Chapter 1?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explore the author's use of written correspondences in the novel. Describe two instances where the author makes use of letters or memos. What purpose do they serve for the reader? Why do you think the author employs so many of them as opposed to writing in traditional narrative style?

Essay Topic 2

Explore Pantoja's straight-laced nature at the start of the book. Describe two instances in which Pantoja shows himself to be straight-laced. Knowing Pantoja is prudish and does everything by the book, why does Army choose him to run their operation? Why does this prudish nature work both for and against him?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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