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 the original name of the hydroplane that Pantoja and the Special Service are allowed to use?

3. What is Olga's occupation?

4. What kind of soldiers will not be allowed to use prostitutes in Pantoja's special service?

5. Who does not believe Pantoja when he tells his superiors how many men are being serviced by the Special Service each week?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What is Dispatch Number 2?

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

5. What instructions does Air Force Colonel Andrés Sarmiento Segovia give about a hydroplane called Delilah?

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

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

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

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

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 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

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 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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