The Covenant Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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. At what age do the women in Gumsto's tribe marry?

2. Why does Nxumalo decide not to return to his home village after seeing Zimbabwe?

3. What is the name of Captain Nicholas Saltwood's ship in Chapter Three?

4. What is Gao more skilled at than he is at hunting?

5. Who writes the book entitled "The Truth About South Africa", accusing the Dutch Boers of abusing and murdering the native Africans?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Karel Van Doorn want Paul de Prè to go back to France after de Prè has escaped and sought refuge from French religious persecution in Amsterdam?

2. Who are the Venloo Commandos, and how do they fare in their skirmishes with the English?

3. What conflicts does Philip Saltwood observe in South Africa during his stay there?

4. A San elder will sacrifice everything in order to ensure that his or her clan continues and thrives. Give some examples of this sacrifice from Chapter One of The Covenant by James Michener.

5. Explain how the village of Caix in France in 1560 comes under the influence of Calvinism and how the Catholic Church responds to the villagers who come under its influence, i.e. the Huguenots.

6. What is Willem Van Doorn's relationship with Ateh the slave girl?

7. What is the Broederbond that Detleef Van Doorn is invited to join in Chapter Twelve?

8. How does Andries Pretorius help the Trekboers get revenge on the Zulu warrior Dingane?

9. Describe the Dutch settlers' relationship with the Xhosa tribe in Chapter Five and how it deteriorates, thanks to Adriaan Van Doorn.

10. What does the imagery of the opening pages of The Covenant, with animals grazing around a dying watering hole, convey about South Africa?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The Covenant by James Michener begins with the San tribe in the rugged bush country during the earliest days of South African history. What do you think Michener is saying about life in South Africa prior to the advent of European settlers in his depiction of the San tribe? How does the land and the climate affect life for the tribe? What is the tribe's main concern? Cite examples from the text to support your conclusions.

Essay Topic 2

Select at least three chapters from The Covenant. Discuss how the titles of the chapters relate to the plots, themes, and characters in each chapter. Do any of the titles seem to have more than one possible meaning? Cite examples from the text to support your arguments.

Essay Topic 3

The Covenant begins with a tribe of hunter/gatherers who live off the land, and ends with the story of a man who works for a diamond mining company. Discuss the relationship of the native African tribes, the Dutch, and the English with the land and resources of South Africa in the novel, and how this relationship parallels the development of farming and mining in South Africa. Cite examples from the text to support your arguments.

(see the answer keys)

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