Eaters of the Dead: The Manuscript of Ibn Fadlan 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. How many gates does Trelburg have?

2. Who foretells the mists will come the night after the feast?

3. What town does Herger point out to Ibn when they are on the ship?

4. How does Buliwyf find the concept of blessing food?

5. How does Ibn view his coming trip with the Northmen?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the only time Ibn can observe the Northmen showing any emotions about the first battle with the wendol?

2. What does Ibn note about the difference between the people at Trelburg and the Northmen and what does he find out there about the troubles at Rothgar's Hall?

3. What do the Northmen do the night they visited the dwarfs, and why does Ibn decide to join with them?

4. What does Buliwyf tell the men to do once they have scaled the cliffs and how is Ibn feeling?

5. What does Herger tell Ibn about the wendol's mother?

6. What kind of man is Ibn, and how much has he traveled before this journey?

7. How is Ibn finally able to leave Rothgar's Hall?

8. How does Ibn describe the rivers where he travels?

9. Who tells Ibn about the wendol and what does he say?

10. What does Ibn see as the wendol approach at night and what does he think it is?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Ibn Fadlan's writing style may be strange to readers. Ibn Fadlan does a wonderful job of baiting the reader's attention. He tells of coming to a forest and seeing mountains with hot springs gushing from them. These areas sound enchanting to the reader but he is left to devise a mental picture on his own. Ibn Fadlan does not offer flowing descriptions of the land he passes through or even comment on how he feels about the journey.

1. Did Ibn's writing style entice you to read farther or did you feel it was not interesting? Why or why not?

Use examples from "Eaters of the Dead" and your own life to support your answer.

2. Would you rather read a book about a place you have never seen with a lot of description or just a minimal so that you can visualize your own picture? Explain why you would prefer one or the other. Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

3. Do you think the book would have been more interesting if more of Ibn's feelings had been shown? Why or why not? Use examples from "Eaters of the Dead" and your own life to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Many novels, and perhaps a majority, of novels ends on a happy note. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think many (most?) people want what they perceive as a happy or good ending to a novel? Explain your opinion. Do you? Why or why not?

2. What are three reasons to read fiction? Discuss each one in light of "Eaters of the Dead" and whether or not it fulfills all three, two or one of the reasons you mention. Give examples as to why the book is or is not successful in fulfilling the reasons you discuss.

3. Do you think reading solely for entertainment is as good a reason to read as any other? Why or why not? Can any work of fiction or non-fiction, no matter how poorly written, enlighten, teach, stimulate thought? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

The reading of the bones is not described in much detail, but some readers may recognize this act as a common ritual among certain cultures. An old woman or man is revered as a type of prophet able to read the future. This person is used to determine the wisdom of acting in a certain way whenever a difficult situation presents itself. Buliwyf does not argue with the crone's words but rather accepts them and his own fate.

1. What do you think is the difference between superstition and belief? Use examples from "Eaters of the Dead" and your research to support your answer.

2. Why do you think Buliwyf accepts his fate in such a stoic manner? Use examples from "Eaters of the Dead" and your research to support your answer.

3. How do you think a crone who is considered a prophet or seer might be able to influence the men in a community? Use examples from the novel and your own research to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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