Little Birds: Erotica 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. While using the toilet, why does Manuel leave the door to the bathroom open while the girls are in his apartment?

2. What interrupts the tall woman's story to the narrator?

3. What is the cause of Manuel's loss of sexual desire?

4. What is Lina's mood whenever the narrator's lovers come to visit?

5. What does Louis see when he spies on the couple in the house?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are the only ways Manuel can become aroused?

2. What happens have Lina, Michel, and the narrator sleep together?

3. What leads up to the schoolgirls running from Manuel at the end of this story?

4. How does Michel seduce Lina?

5. For what reasons, in the woman's story, are the people so stirred up about the impending execution of the Russian radical?

6. How do Novalis and Maria begin to grow apart?

7. Describe Robert and Dorothy's relationship from the time to they meet until the time they first make love.

8. Why does the woman pass out in her story as the Russian dies?

9. How does Louis "court" the woman in the ocean before he tries to make love to her?

10. What is a sirocco and how does it affect the narrator?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What role does the author's language play in the eroticism and sensuality of this book? How does the phrasing and format both increase the sensuality while keeping the reader at a distance from the proceedings? How is this seen, in particular, in "the Woman on the Dunes?" In what ways are the characters' extreme intensity and seriousness increased by the language and writing? Develop a clear thesis statement on this topic and pattern an essay around these questions (though not exclusively). Cite specific examples from the text to support your arguments.

Essay Topic 2

What is the difference between erotica and pornography? Why is one considered to be more acceptable? How does "Little Birds" fall into the category of erotica? Do you personally agree with these assessments? Why or why not? Cite specific examples from the text to support your answers.

Essay Topic 3

Compare and contrast the characters of Bijou and Mary? Why is it significant that both women are depicted as being highly promiscuous? Why is it important to note that descriptions of these characters are filtered through the perceptions of people who are attracted to them (and, in Bijou's case, infuriated by her)? In what way is Mary able to break out of her role? Why are both women depicted as being so unhappy? How does this reflect upon the people who pursue relationships with them? Cite specific examples from the text to support your answers.

(see the answer keys)

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