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. Where do they find bodies?

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

3. Why can't Nailer buy something from Lucky Strike?

4. How long could Nailer's head injury take to heal?

5. What does Pima do despite gagging?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Nailer fear for his livelihood, and what gives him some hope?

2. What dampens the survivors good mood?

3. What do the three do the next morning?

4. How does Nailer fee about Bright Sands?

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

6. How does Nailer get out of the oil and the ship?

7. What is Nailer's solution to not trusting the girl they rescue?

8. How does the girl try to ensure that Nailer and Pima will not change their minds and kill her?

9. What does Nailer think about clipper ships?

10. What does the girl ask Nailer when she wakes and what is his reaction?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Ship Breaker belongs to the juvenile science fiction genre. Discuss the following:

1. Define the literary term "genre" and give several examples of three other genres in addition to the juvenile science fiction genre.

2. Discuss two reasons why it might be useful to label a text by genre and two reasons it might be disadvantageous to label a text by genre.

3. What do you think is the difference between a juvenile science fiction and a historical novel mystery?

Essay Topic 2

Oftentimes, a book has more of a character-driven plot rather than action driven, and oftentimes the other way. Some books seem to balance the two. Discuss the following:

1. What do you think it means to say that a plot is character driven? Action driven?

2. How do you think a plot differs if it is character driven versus action driven?

3. Which type of plot do you find more interesting? Why?

4. Do you think it is possible to have a plot where action and character development share equal time? Why or why not?

5. What type of plot do you think Ship Breaker is? Explain your response.

Essay Topic 3

Choose one of the following to discuss:

1. Choose two significant symbols and trace and analyze their appearance in Ship Breaker. Are these universal symbols? Would they be understood in any culture? Are there other symbols that would portray the same idea? What are they? Why do you think Bacigalupi chooses the symbols he does?

2. Choose two important metaphors and trace and analyze their appearance in the novel. Are these universal metaphors? Would they be understood in any culture? Are there other metaphors that would portray the same idea? What are they? Why do you think Bacigalupi chooses the metaphors she does?

3. Discuss Bacigalupi's use (or lack ) of literary device (such as foreshadowing, clifthangers, deux ex machina, etc...), and how they add or detract from the story. Does Bacigalupi use too many or too little literary techniques? State which of the five major elements of fiction the literary device is related to (style, character, plot, setting, theme).

(see the answer keys)

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