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. Why does Rukmani begin selling her vegetables to Biswas instead of to Old Granny?

2. Who does Rukmani trust to find a suitable husband for Ira?

3. What do Nathan and Rukmani name their daughter?

4. As the story opens, what is Rukmani dreaming of?

5. Why does Nathan accept the decision of his sons to leave for Ceylon?

Short Essay Questions

1. On his deathbed, what does Nathan tell Rukmani to comfort her?

2. Why does Nathan refuse to eat any of the food that Ira brings into the house?

3. Chapter 3 opens with the village women insisting Rukmani not worry about something. What is she worried about and why?

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

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

6. When Nathan questions why Rukmani is grieving, what does she tell him?

7. What do both Nathan and Kenny tell Rukmani regarding Ira's child and they manner in which it was conceived?

8. At the beginning of Chapter 21, Rukmani says that Selvam has ceased to belong to her and Nathan. Why?

9. When selecting a suitable husband for Ira, Nathan and Rukmani list several requirements of the selected man. When suitable match is found, what requirements does he meet?

10. In Chapter 5 during one of Kenny's visits, he notices that Rukmani is still breast-feeding her three-year-old son. Why?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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

The book is entitled "Nectar in a Sieve". Why does the author choose this title? How does the title foreshadow the story of Rukmani's life?

Essay Topic 3

Rukmani's parents arrange her marriage to Nathan.

a. Why do her parents select Nathan as her husband?

b. Why is her mother upset with their choice of Nathan?

c. What is the economic impact of the arranged marriage, for Nathan, for Rukmani, and for her parents?

(see the answer keys)

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