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 Kali warn Rukmani to not let her daughter start walking so early?

2. Why does Rukmani go into the village once or twice a week?

3. Whose hut is completely destroyed by the monsoon?

4. What is the village doctor's name?

5. Who are among the first to work in the tannery?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. Why does Rukmani's mother never reproach her for the long intervals between Rukmani's visits home?

5. After her son's death, why do two tannery officials visit Rukmani?

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

7. What does the doctor tell Rukmani and Nathan about Murugan?

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

9. When Kenny offers to help Rukmani after she confides she has no sons, what is Rukmani's initial reaction to his offer of help?

10. Why does Rukmani's mother not approve of her learning to read and write?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Many of the misunderstandings that Kenny and Rukmani have come from their different ways of viewing the world.

a. Discuss Kenny's world view. How does his world view impact his life and his reactions to life in the village?

b. Discuss Rukmani's world view. How does her world view impact her life and her reactions to life in the village?

Essay Topic 2

Rukmani meets three women at the brook doing laundry shortly after her arrival in the village. These women become important to Rukmani and we see them time and time again throughout our story. Identify and describe these three women. Compare and contrast the three of them with Rukmani.

Essay Topic 3

Nathan is portrayed as a kind, albeit poor, farmer. While this is generally true, the reader learns that Nathan is all too human and makes mistakes too.

a. Describe Nathan's character strengths and character weaknesses.

b. Give three concrete examples from the story that reflect one of Nathan's character strengths from the answer above.

c. Give three concrete examples from the story that reflect one of Nathan's character weaknesses from the answer above.

d. Identify Nathan's greatest mistake. Why does he confess to Rukmani and how does she react to his news?

(see the answer keys)

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