|Name: _________________________||Period: ___________________|
This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. What is it that Ruth suggest Dan needs in this situation?
2. What does the author do for a job right after graduation?
3. Why does Dan enjoy spending time with Sachi?
4. Who is Ruth Johnson?
5. Why does Dan have to rest?
Short Essay Questions
1. Why is Dan depressed on his honeymoon?
2. What does Mama Chia tell Dan after waking him from sleeping for 36 hours, and what do you think she means?
3. What do you think about what Mama Chia says about suffering?
4. What is the phrase that Ruth uses that catches Dan's attention and how would you characterize their encounter?
5. How has Mama Chia been healing Dan and what do you think of her method?
6. What does the college give Dan and where does he go?
7. Dan tries to stay awake and conscious because he's afraid of what might happen if he falls asleep. Do you think this is symbolic of anything?
8. What does Dan say about death and how do you think he will overcome his feelings about it?
9. Did you think it is smart of Dan to just mount a surfboard and go out from shore having no experience with this kind of activity?
10. Dan falls asleep, which could be what is called in literary terms, a "narrative contrivance." What do you think that means in context of this story and Dan falling asleep?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
Dan says that Mama Chia mentions an Arab aphorism, "Trust God but tie the camel." Discuss the following:
Research and discuss the origins of this saying and to what it originally applied.
How does Mama Chia use it in the context of this book? Does it seem appropriate?
How does Dan respond to her statement? Does he "tie his camel"? Discuss fully.
Essay Topic 2
Dan talks about death, which has bothered him since the surfboard incident. He recalls an Oberlin student dying despite prayers. Mama Chia says that God always answers prayers but sometimes says no, as do loving parents. Discuss the following:
What is prayer?
Why do you think many people pray?
Do you think most people truly believe their prayers will be answered?
Why does it seem many people are surprised when it appears that their prayer(s) have been answered?
Essay Topic 3
Besides being a retired banker, Mama Chia is also a midwife, who is busy bringing a new life into the world while Dan is recuperating from exposure and dehydration. Discuss one of the following:
What are the parallels between Dan's surfboard experience and Mama Chia bringing a new baby into the world?
Discuss the seeming paradox that Mama Chia works for and retires from a bank and is also a shaman and midwife.
What do you think Dan needs to birth?
This section contains 1,043 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)