Ship Breaker Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Paolo Bacigalupi
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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. How does Nailer explain why he took so long to get what he gathered?

2. Who is Bapi?

3. What does the rich girl say her father will do?

4. Who is Sloth?

5. How do Pima and Nailer survive the winds and rain?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Nailer fare in the oil when he falls into a pool of it?

2. Describe the scene where Nailer decides not to kill the rich girl.

3. What do Nailer and Pima learn about who Lucky Girl really is?

4. What does Nailer do immediately after the blood ritual is completed?

5. What is the attitude about luck among Nailer's community and how will that affect Nailer's relationship to others after his almost dying.?

6. What does Nailer do and what is the work like?

7. How does Nailer feel about Richard, and what saves Nailer from a beating when he gets home after his oil experience?

8. What do Nailer and Pima find in the jungle and what is their first reaction?

9. How does Nailer feel when he sees Sadns emerging from the woods with his father?

10. How does Nailer fee about Bright Sands?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the following:

1. In your opinion, what are the characteristics of a successful novel?

2. Analyze and discuss Ship Breaker based upon your criteria for a successful novel and judge if Ship Breaker is a successful novel.

3. Do you think the criteria for a successful novel should be different if it is written for adults versus young adults? Why or why not? Would most adults consider Ship Breaker a successful novel? What about young teens?

Essay Topic 2

Many novels, and perhaps a majority, of novels ends on a happy note. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think many (most?) people want what they perceive as a happy or good ending to a novel? Explain your opinion. Do you? Why or why not?

2. What are three reasons to read fiction? Discuss each one in light of Ship Breaker and whether or not it fulfills all three, two or one of the reasons you mention. Give examples as to why Ship Breaker is or is not successful in fulfilling the reasons you discuss.

3. Do you think reading solely for entertainment is as good a reason to read as any other? Why or why not? Can any work of fiction or non-fiction, no matter how poorly written, enlighten, teach, stimulate thought? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

Over the course of Ship Breaker, Nailer grows as a person in both complexity and understanding. Ship Breaker might be considered a slice of Nailer's larger story of his "coming of age." It might be said that Ship Breaker is a "bildungsroman" of Nailer Lopez. Discuss the following:

1. Define Bildungsroman, or "Coming of Age," and give several examples from literature you have read.

2. Trace and analyze the character of Nailer as he changes from a more innocent boy to a wiser, young man. What are the significant events that change Nailer?

3. After thoroughly analyzing Nailer's growth throughout Ship Breaker, do you think Ship Breaker could be considered Nailer's Coming of Age story? Why or why not?

4. Are there any other characters in Ship Breaker who go through a Coming of Age experience? Who? Why do you think so?

(see the answer keys)

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