Fasting, Feasting 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 does Mama tell Uma she must say to a man who comes to see her?

2. When does Mira-Masi occasionally appear at Uma's home?

3. What does Uma do when she finds the person for whom she is searching in Chapter 3?

4. What is the disposition of the man interested in marrying Uma?

5. How does Papa act once he gets home from the hospital after Mama delivers a baby boy?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Uma and her family learn that the prospective groom is not interested in Uma?

2. What happens when Aruna comes to visit her family several years after her marriage?

3. Why does Papa want the family to eat meat, and who will not do so?

4. What do Uma and Ramu do one evening that causes Mama and Papa to be angry?

5. How does Uma compare herself to Aruna?

6. How do Aruna's wedding plans differ from those taken when Uma was to marry?

7. How does Mother Agnes respond to Uma's pleas?

8. How is Anamika's life after her marriage?

9. Who are the main Indian characters?

10. How does Uma feel about Mira-Masi?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the following:

a) What is a plot? What are the most important elements of a plot and their definition? Do all novels have a plot? Why or why not?

b) Write a brief synopsis of the plot of Fasting, Feasting, identifying where the various elements of the plot occur (Exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution or denouement). Do you find it difficult to identify the plot? Why or why not? What about the various elements of the plot?

c) Identify the major sub-plots and their elements in Fasting, Feasting. (The subplots may not contain every element of a major plot). Do the sub-plots add to the main plot? Why or why not. Are the sub-plots interesting in and of themselves? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

The author connects Uma's strange, almost epileptic, fits to religious or spiritual events. The first time Uma collapses in one of her fits, she is in the presence of Mother Agnes at the Catholic convent school. Uma spins out of control, writhes on the floor, and shrieks hysterically when Mira-Masi tells Uma that she has the mark of the Lord on her. It is not clear yet why these fits happen at these specific times; but the author may be trying to symbolize Uma's need for release from her imprisoned life. Spirituality may be one method of achieving some sort of freedom. The fits may also symbolize the precipice of a new life for Uma who is likened to an infant when the pilgrim at the ashram hits Uma on the back to restart her breathing just as if Uma is freshly born again.

a) Discuss the reasons Uma’s fits might be considered either an escape or defense mechanism.

b) Discuss the symbolism of Uma’s fits in relationship to life with Uma’s parents.

c) Do you think Uma has control over her fits? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

Titles often play a vital role in making a person decide to read a particular book. Discuss three of the following:

a) Fully explain why you think Fasting, Feasting is titled as such. Do you think it is the best title for the book? Why or why not? Can you think of a better title? Why would you choose it?

b) How important is a title in influencing you to consider reading a book?

c) Do you think a title needs to have direct relevance to a book's content?

d) Have you ever read a book that when you finished, you do not understand the relevance of the title? Does it discourage you from "trusting" that particular author again?

(see the answer keys)

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