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. Where does Captain Nicholas Saltwood build his English estate?

2. Which of the following physical characteristics is not typical of the clan to which Gumsto belongs?

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

4. What nation establishes the East India Company or John Company in 1600?

5. At the beginning of Chapter One, what has caused the water of the lake to become brackish?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe how Nxumalo fares in the city of Zimbabwe.

2. 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.

3. What is the Dark Time referred to in Chapter Seven, and what is its affect on Shaka's relationship with Nxumalo?

4. Explain why the San tribe must move, and why Kharu thinks the time is not yet right to move?

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

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

7. Describe the commemoration of the battle at Blood River and the idea that Johanna and Piet contribute to the event.

8. What role does rugby play in Detleef's life?

9. How are Hilary and his wife, Emma, treated after their marriage, and is their treatment any different in England than it is in South Africa?

10. Why does Vera, the woman Richard Saltwood finds to marry his brother, Hilary, decide not to marry Hilary?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss symbolism and metaphor in The Covenant. Give three examples of symbolism in the plays in this book and discuss what the symbols are used to convey.

Essay Topic 2

In some generations in The Covenant, literacy is not of primary importance. Discuss the concept of education in The Covenant. Cite examples to support your arguments.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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