Catfish and Mandala: A Two-wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Andrew X. Pham
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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. How long had Ronnie been in a mental institution?

2. What characteristic did Andrew dislike most about his father?

3. What was used to bribe the police officers who searched Andrew's bus?

4. In actuality, where was Andrew planning to cycle next?

5. What country's ship saved the escapees when their ship began to fall apart?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happened to Andrew's family in the year after their first child's death?

2. What uncomfortable event transpired between Andrew and Viet at Turtle Fountain?

3. What event frightened Andrew at the diner in Ham Tan?

4. What happened when Tyle joined Andrew at his nighttime campfire in Mexico?

5. After returning to California from Mexico, where did Andrew live?

6. Who was Patty?

7. What major events did Andrew struggle through once he reached Japan?

8. What does Andrew remember most acutely about his Grandfather Pham?

9. What happened when Andrew's uncles took him to their local bar?

10. What happened to Andrew when the Indonesian freighter intercepted the fishing boat?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

At the opening of the memoir, it becomes clear that Andrew Pham is trapped between two cultures: his Vietnamese culture and his American culture. How does this struggle affect Andrew's personal history? How does this struggle inform the overarching themes of the novel? Choose two examples from the text that you think best exhibit Andrew's struggle and describe them here. How did these instances affect Andrew's personal understanding of himself?

Essay Topic 2

When Andrew and his family moved to America, Andrew's life was suddenly overwhelmed with two characteristics: religion and violence. First, describe how these two elements were introduced into Andrew's life upon moving to America. Then, explain what symbolism can be found in these two elements when considering the stereotypes of American life to foreigners. If Andrew were to move to America today, do you think his experiences would be the same? Why or why not? Be sure to include examples from the text to help strengthen your arguments.

Essay Topic 3

Throughout the memoir, Andrew offers many different symbols to bring meaning to the people of Vietnam and their experiences, including the famous ruins and the gape fish. Choose one of these symbols - or another that you deem fit - and explain the symbol here. Where did Andrew first encounter this symbol? What understanding did Andrew believe the message brought to him about the Vietnamese people? Do you agree with Andrew's assessment? Why or why not? Be sure to include examples from the text to help strengthen your arguments.

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