Eaters of the Dead: The Manuscript of Ibn Fadlan Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Ibn see in the caves at first?

2. What does Buliwyf do when they offer him onion soup back at the hall?

3. What does a dwarf tell Buliwyf about the attack in the desert of dread?

4. What does Ibn see when one of the warriors shouts?

5. What do the warriors drink in great quantities at the feast the night of the visit to the dwarfs?

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

Wyglif's possessions are divided into three parts: one for his family, one to purchase a girl to die with him, and the last to be buried alongside him. A wild party ensues in which the Northmen get very drunk and indulge their pleasures with various women. A woman comes forward to say she will be buried with Wyglif. The girl is taken into a hut where she is raped by all of Wyglif's men. She is then held down by two men while the Angel of Death slits the girl's throat.

1. Discuss the status of slaves in the Northmen society based on the statement above. Use examples from "Eaters of the Dead" and your own research to support your answer.

2. Discuss the status of women in a culture that encourages gang rape of a woman. Use examples from the book and your own research to support your answer.

3. How do you think the above burial practice, if viewed from a modern perspective, might demonstrate the evolution of the human race? Use examples from the book and your own life to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Crichton discusses the differences between Ibn Fadlan's observations about the Vikings and the common European view of the Northmen. Crichton reviews the numerous ways that show the Vikings were not the barbarians Europeans made them out to be. The Viking lifestyle is surprisingly modern with a strong sense of ritual.

1. Ritual is important in most civilizations. Support or refute the following statement with supporting reasons: Low technological societies or early civilizations had more ritual than modern civilizations. Use examples from Eaters of the Dead and your own life to support your answer.

2. The Europeans had a very negative view of the Northmen which Ibn shares until he spends some time with them and actually know them. In view of this explain how the cliche "You can't tell a book by its cover," applies to the situation between the view of the European towards the Northmen and Ibn's final views of the Northmen. Use examples from Eaters of the Dead and your own life to support your answer.

3. Why do you think rituals are important to human culture? Use examples from "Eaters of the Dead" and your own life to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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