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 is Papa's vocation?

2. How old is Uma at the opening to Chapter 3?

3. What does Uma collect?

4. What irritates Papa when they go to the park?

5. Why is Papa so angry when the arranged marriage for Uma falls through?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the atmosphere like at the Ashram that Mira-Masi and Uma travel to, and how does Uma feel about it?

2. Why do Mama and Papa not approve of Ramu?

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

4. How does Mama and Papa's moods affect the rest of the household?

5. What does Mira-Masi tell Uma one day about the mark of the Lord, and how does Uma react?

6. Who does Uma call in Chapter 9, and what is the outcome?

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

8. Who are the main Indian characters?

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

10. What does Uma do one night when Mama and Papa have gone out?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Often, authors will write about "what they know," and sometimes knowing a little about the author makes the books more interesting. Discuss the following:

a) Research and give a brief biographical sketch of Will Desai. What in Desai's background may have helped her in writing Fasting, Feasting? What may have influenced the way she depicts various characters and scenes?

b) Do you think there is always some of the author's own life in his/her novels? Why or why not? Give examples.

c) What does the term "author agenda" mean?

d) Name one idea/concept you think may have been a part of the Desai's agenda. Analyze that idea throughout the book and discuss Desai's probable agenda concerning that idea.

e) Do you think writers who have an agenda for writing should point it out in a preface? Why or why not?

f) How often do you think fiction is written with a clear agenda in mind by the author? Explain your answer with examples.

Essay Topic 2

Characters are an important part of what makes Fasting, Feasting interesting. Discuss any two of the following:

a) Thoroughly discuss and analyze Uma. What are her strengths? Her weaknesses? How does she contribute to the plot? Is she a sympathetic character? Is she ever likable? Never likable? Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.

b) Thoroughly discuss and analyze Arun. What are his strengths? His weaknesses? How does he contribute to the plot? Is he a sympathetic character? Is he ever likable? Never likable? Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.

c) Thoroughly discuss and analyze Uma’s father. What are his strengths? His weaknesses? How does he contribute to the plot? Is he a sympathetic character? Is he ever likable? Never likable? Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.

d) Thoroughly discuss and analyze Uma’s mother. What are her strengths? Her weaknesses? How does she contribute to the plot? Is she a sympathetic character? Is she ever likable? Never likable? Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.

Essay Topic 3

Foreshadowing is used in almost all works of fiction. Discuss the following:

a) What is foreshadowing? How many incidences of foreshadowing are in Fasting, Feasting? How does foreshadowing contribute to a book's suspense?

b) Discuss an example of foreshadowing in “Fasting, Feasting” including why you believe it is foreshadowing.

(see the answer keys)

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