State of Wonder Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Ann Patchett
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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 many children does Anders have?

2. Who was with Anders when he died?

3. How does Marina feel in the opera box after the discovery that Dr. Swenson is there?

4. What does Swenson say about Vogel?

5. What does Fox manipulate Marina into doing?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Marina's visit to the opera.

2. What happens when Marina and Fox go to talk with Karen Eckman?

3. What do the Bovenders argue concerning Swenson and Vogel?

4. How does Dr. Swenson react when she realizes Marina intends to come to the jungle with her?

5. What does Marina do when Barbara show her Dr. Swenson's mailbox?

6. What do Marina and the Bovenders discuss concerning Anders Eckman?

7. Why does Marina go into the river and how does she feel about it?

8. Why did Marina quit her OB-GYN residency program?

9. What does Marina feel about the river?

10. What does Marina deduce about Dr. Swenson and the Lakashi tribe?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Characters are an integral and important part of almost all novels. Discuss the following:

1. Compare/contrast the characters of Marina and Dr. Swenson. How are they similar? How are they different? Is there a flaw in each of their personalities? Be specific and give examples.

2. Compare/contrast the characters of Anders and Jim Fox. How do they seem different? Which do you like more? Why? Which one seems more of a well-rounded character?

3. Thoroughly analyze how three of the secondary characters in State of Wonder help drive the plot and what their contribution is to the storyline. Are any of the secondary characters unnecessary? Indispensable? Which of the secondary characters are likable? Which are either unlikable or even despicable? Be specific and give examples.

Essay Topic 2

There are a number of interesting questions raised by State of Wonder. Questions that Patchett most likely want readers to consider and think through carefully. Discuss the following:

1. What does the term "author agenda" mean?

2. Name one idea/concept you think may have been a part of the Patchett' agenda. Analyze that idea throughout the book and discuss Patchett' probable agenda concerning that idea.

2. Do you think writers who have an agenda for writing should point it out in a preface?

3. How often do you think fiction is written with a clear agenda in mind by the author?

4. Research the life of Patchett and see if/where his life may have influenced his writing.

Essay Topic 3

Marina made a bad mistake during residency, not listening to her supervising physician and rushing a C section. Her actions in the hospital on the night of the botched C section were primarily caused not by her lack of skill, as she was well trained, but instead simply by a carelessness brought about because of her concerns that she had fallen in the eyes of her mentor. Marina clearly thought of Swenson as a mentor, but also elevated her to almost hero status. When she failed her, she was distracted, and as a result, made a profound mistake. Although forgiven by the mother and father of the blinded child, and also by the board, who allowed her to keep her residency, Marina was never able to forgive herself. She quit the program to avoid having to face Swenson and the others who knew of her mistake. She divorced her husband, in part, to distance herself from him and the friends who knew of the accident.

1. Do you think Marina had good reason to quit her residency program? Why or why not? Use examples from the story and your own life to support your answer.

2. Discuss the reasons you see for Marina divorcing her husband and cutting off relationships with friends she knew when she botched the C section. Use examples from the story and your own life to support your answer.

3. Do you think it is more difficult to learn from or perform for a teacher or mentor you idolize than one about whom you feel no such big feelings? Why or why not? Use examples from the story and your own life to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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