Reef 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. Among the many new tasks Mr. Salgado gives Joseph in preparation for his absence due to a trip, the most significant is ___.

2. How does Triton try to protect himself from Joseph when he's left alone with him in the house?

3. Although Mr. Salgado goes to the best schools in Colombo, he considers himself what?

4. When Joseph is in Mr. Salgado's room, what does he do when Triton finds him there?

5. How does Joseph feel and act towards Triton?

Short Essay Questions

1. When the cashier asks the narrator if he lives close by, what does the man reply?

2. Describe the relationship between Triton and Joseph.

3. During their first meeting, how does Triton reply when Mr. Salgado asks if he's been to school?

4. Why does Triton often seek refuge in Lucy-amma's kitchen?

5. What does the London cashier say about the situation back home in Sri Lanka?

6. When Mr. Salgado leaves for a weekend trip to his cousin's tea estate, what additional responsibilities does he give Triton?

7. Describe the Volkswagen introduced in the first part of the book.

8. What happens in 1962, when Triton's narration begins?

9. Where does this story begin?

10. At the end of the first section, what does the narrator begin to talk about with the gas station cashier?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explain what makes this a "coming of age" story about Triton, the narrator. Cite specific examples. Analyze three important lessons Triton learns as he grows up in Mr. Salgado's unique household. Do you feel he learns these lessons if he instead stays home with his family? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Compare and contrast the simplicity of Triton's life as a servant with the deep wisdom he exudes in his narration and philosophical musings. In what ways does Triton exhibit greater wisdom and maturity than the supposedly more important people he's talking about?

Essay Topic 3

How does the author use a story told by a former servant boy as a tool to educate readers about the nation of Sri Lanka, including its culture, people, geographical attributes, and recent social and political unrest? Do you feel this is an effective tool? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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