Sinuhe the Egyptian: A Novel Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Mika Waltari
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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. What does everyone know about the opening of the pharaoh's skull?

2. When the prince is crowned, who is his royal consort?

3. What does Sinuhe tell his mother and father he wants to be when he grows up?

4. What does Phator do to cure the young slave with the splinter in his brain?

5. What does Sinuhe do with his gold before he travels on a ship to Smyrna?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Senmut take Sinuhe to meet Inteb, the warrior? What lesson does Senmut want Sinuhe to leave with?

2. When Sinuhe and Kaptah arrive in Babylon, Kaptah wants Sinuhe to announce his presence to the other physicians in a certain way. How does he want Sinuhe to announce that he is in Babylonia? Why? Why is this important to their relationships with others? Is this political correctness for the time? Why?

3. Explain the process that Sinuhe is taught in school about life after death. Who is Osiris? Who is the Devourer? What does the Devourer look like? Who is the Backward-Gazer? Why is this important knowledge for the average Egyptian?

4. In Babylon, the astrologers know the heavenly bodies. What does this tell us about the people of Babylon? Is this advanced science for the time? Why? Why not? How will this knowledge affect the gods that they worship?

5. As the novel progresses, Kaptah begins to refer to the property of Sinuhe as "our" as in "our" house, "our" scarab and even "our" gold. What does this indicate to the reader? Does Sinuhe seem aware of these changes? If he does, does he care? Why? Why not? What does this say about their relationship?

6. How does Sinuhe defend the young prince to Horemheb? What does Sinuhe think of the young prince's beliefs? Do you think he is affected in this way because of his experiences in the House of Life? Why? Why not?

7. When Ptahor is opening the skull of the pharaoh, the young prince steps forward and speaks of a blessing from the god Aton. How does Ptahor react to this? Why does he react as he does?

8. What does Minea bring to Sinuhe? What does she restore in his life? Why is she an important character to his life and to his healing?

9. Why does Horemheb want Sinuhe to be his spy? What does Sinuhe have to offer that others cannot? What does Sinuhe have to gain from this experience? Will this affect Sinuhe's life if and when he returns to Egypt? Why? Why not?

10. Why does Sinuhe feel that Mitanni is doomed? Where is Mitanni in relation to other countries? Why does this mean extinction for these people?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Are there instances in the novel when you think someone is hypnotized? When? How many times do you see this in the novel? Do you think this was a common form of trickery at the time? Why?

Essay Topic 2

The names Ramses in mentioned twice in the novel; once as a far away leader and once as Horemheb's son. There was a very famous pharaoh names Ramses. Do you think either of these men were that pharaoh? Which one do you believe it was?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the friendships in the novel. Who are childhood friends and who are long-time friends? How does this affect behavior? Give examples from the novel of how friendships affect power.

(see the answer keys)

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