River God Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Wilbur Smith
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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. Where do Tanus and Lostris first sleep together?

2. Once he is seated on the ark carrying his coffin, what unprecedented thing does Pharaoh do?

3. How do the soldiers respond when Tanus orders them to put on the dresses of slave girls?

4. Contrary to Pharaoh's plans, why does Lostris set out to charm him?

5. How do Egyptians treat their women in comparison to surrounding nations?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Lord Intef delighted to arrange the marriage between Lostris and Pharaoh? What plans does he reveal to Taita? How does even this brief interaction show Taita's unstable position in the court?

2. In the days leading up to Lostris's wedding, Taita is not allowed to go near her. Even during the wedding ceremony, he stands at the back of the crowd and cannot see much. What is the literary significance of Taita's inability to see Lostris? How does this relate to Smith's silence about Tanus's reaction?

3. What will be the crowning moment of Pharaoh's life? What is Taita's reaction to this moment and how does the reaction seem contrary to Egyptian thought?

4. When the people cry out to Pharaoh to give Tanus mercy from the death sentence, what does Pharaoh do? What leads to this decision? Does it show Pharaoh's mercy or his weakness?

5. Why does Lostris want to die on her wedding night? Does Taita respond properly to her demands for poison? Why?

6. What are Taita's first descriptions of Lostris? How are his emotions different from what the reader might expect of a eunuch? How does it help explain his character?

7. How does Lostris interact with Pharaoh during their first three months of marriage? Though Smith does not say this is so many words, how does Pharaoh reveal his true character during this time?

8. Why is Taita angered when he sees Lord Intef in Thebes? What does this reveal to the reader about Taita's character?

9. When Taita disguises himself as a priest so that he is not recognized in his native city Thebes, how is he treated? What does this say about the Egyptian people's attitude toward their religion? What does this say about the priests' ethics?

10. What power does Pharaoh's seal have? Why must a man acknowledge it, as Tanus does when Neter comes to arrest him? Is this seal a sign of power or of weakness?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Twice Taita wishes that he could retract the evil he had spoken: Lostris's marriage and the coming of the Hyksos. How effective is this as a literary technique? Does it build suspense for the reader or diminish it? How does it change the reader's expectations for what happens next in the novel?

Essay Topic 2

How does Taita spend his two years in Arkoun's prison? What does this reveal about his personality? Does the reader ever lose hope of his rescue? Given his conversations with Masara, what does the reader come to expect?

Essay Topic 3

What significance is there in the fact that Memnon's first wife is from another culture? Does it counteract Lostris's desire that Egypt remain a wandering nation in Cush rather than settling down? How does this expand the range of Egypt's power even before Memnon becomes king?

(see the answer keys)

This section contains 2,041 words
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