Nectar in a Sieve Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Kamala Purnaiya Taylor
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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. When Arjun and Thambi leave for Ceylon, what is Rukmani afraid of?

2. When Rukmani's mother is on her deathbed, who does her father send for?

3. What do the Arjun and Thambi do with their wages each week?

4. Right after the monsoons end, Rukmani and Nathan venture into town to purchase rice for the family. Why do they return empty handed?

5. Ira's husband wants to divorce Ira. Why?

Short Essay Questions

1. Rukmani muses that her husband is indeed a patient man for putting up with her in the early days of her marriage. Why does she feel this way?

2. When Rukmani and Nathan awaken from their first night's sleep in the city, why do they not eat breakfast before heading out to find their son?

3. When the men start building the tannery, they seem pleased to have drawn such a loud crowd. How does the overseer in particular behave?

4. Is the strike successful? Why or why not?

5. When the landlord's assistant comes to collect the rent, he feels bad for Rukmani and Nathan. Why?

6. Why does Rukmani feel ashamed after learning from the three women at the river about her new home?

7. The farmers gather dung from their fields early each morning. What is the dung used for?

8. When Rukmani and Nathan meet Murugan's wife, what does she tell them?

9. When Arjun and Thambi return home from the tannery after Rukmani and Nathan could not find them for lunch, what do Rukmani and Nathan learn about the day's trouble?

10. Why do Rukmani and Nathan not stay with Murugan's wife?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Death is one of the themes visited throughout the novel.

a. Kuti, Raja, and Nathan all die in the novel. Describe their deaths. Who were they surrounded by? What circumstances led to their deaths? Could their deaths have been prevented?

b. Compare and contrast the effect each of their deaths has on Rukmani (Kuti, Old Granny, and Nathan).

c. How were deaths handled in the city versus in the village?

d. After Old Granny's death, Rukmani realizes something about the nature of people. What is it? Do you agree with Rukmani? Support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Sacrabani is born into Rukmani's family under interesting circumstances that will impact his life forever.

a. What are the circumstances surrounding Sacrabani and his birth?

b. How does being different from the other children affect Sacrabani's life?

c. Which impacts Sacrabani's treatment by others more, the circumstances surrounding his birth or his appearance? Support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Rukmani and Nathan travel to the city to find their son. Instead of finding their son, however, they find his wife and learn that their son has deserted her. Ammu is now a single mother, as is Ira back in the village. Single parenthood drastically changes both of their lives.

a. Compare and contrast the lives of Ammu and Ira as single parents.

b. Compare and contrast single parenthood in the novel and in our society.

c. How did living in the city versus being in the village impact the situations of both Ammu and Ira?

(see the answer keys)

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