Midaq Alley 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. Why is Uncle Kamil unafraid of dying?

2. How does Hamida respond to Abbas' words of love?

3. How does Zaita treat his clients?

4. How does Zaita help the strong man to become an efficient beggar?

5. What do his jealous friends call Hussain Kirsha?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Radwan Hussainy promise Abbas will happen if he returns to work and forgets about Hamida?

2. Why does Abbas believe that Hamida feels the same attraction for him that he feels for her?

3. What does Hamida hope when the handsome stranger first talks to her - a hope that is the exact opposite of what she says?

4. Why do residents of the alley fear Umm Hamida?

5. What conflicting emotions does Hamida feel for the stranger who keeps staring at her?

6. Why have Salim Alwan's sons drifted from the life of merchants and trade?

7. What does Jaada do that causes Husniya to beat him continually?

8. Why does Uncle Kamil have nothing more to do with Salim Alwan?

9. Why does Dr. Booshy suffer when he goes with Zaita to rob graves?

10. Why does Zaita claim that the best doctors in Egypt don't have the skill that he does?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Evaluate the character of Sheikh Darwish. What makes him a holy man? What effect do his pronouncements have on those around him? As a stylistic tool, he is used by Mahfouz for foreshadowing and explanation. Use examples of both in your analysis.

Essay Topic 2

Consider the references to God in the story in terms of personal responsibility. Which characters seem to you to actually believe in God and try to conform their behavior to the teachings of the Qur'an? Are those that refer to God most the true believers? Discuss at least two characters in terms of their relation to deity, using examples from the text.

Essay Topic 3

Critics have said that Mahfouz presents his characters with great humor. Are there elements of this story that seem funny to you? What do you make of the fact that characters in the story who love one another often speak to each other with exaggerated hatred and disdain and in direct opposition to their real feelings? Much of humor is difficult to translate from one language or cultural setting to another. Select incidents from the story which could be interpreted as comical and explain what could make them funny.

(see the answer keys)

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