The Conference of the Birds Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Sufi texts#Farid ad-Din Attar
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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 metaphor did the hoopoe use to describe "Self's grown gross"?

2. What happened when the Shiekh Sam'an drank wine?

3. How many birds gathered around the Hoopoe after he was chosen leader for the journey?

4. Where did God tell Gabriel to find the one who had cast away the Self and had a pure heart?

5. With whom, according to the hoopoe, would the pheasant reign?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why did a "cowardly bird" protest going on the quest for the Simorgh?

2. What happened between Nimrod and the mosquitoes?

3. What will the quest do for the birds?

4. What did Socrates say to his student about burying him?

5. What happened in China in regard to the Simorgh?

6. What happened after the hoopoe was chosen as their leader?

7. What did the birds ask the hoopoe about regarding the Way?

8. Why did the birds decide that they needed a king?

9. What was the problem with love according to the hoopoe?

10. Describe the phoenix from the hoopoe's story "The Phoenix."

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the personification of the Self, Love, Truth, Unity, Reality, and the Way. How are these personified? Why are they personified? What purpose does the personification serve in respect to the lesson that Attar was trying to teach?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss Attar's usage of birds in the book. What do the birds represent? Why are birds a suitable substitution for Attar's real "audience"? How does Attar personify the birds in the book?

Essay Topic 3

At the end of the book, the birds find out that they are, in fact, the Simorgh. Discuss the inferences that are made throughout the book that hint at this being true. How did their concerns, actions, fears, and successes lead you to believe that the birds were the Simorgh.

(see the answer keys)

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