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. Who does Old Seeker want Nxumalo to marry?

2. Why does Gumsto feel entitled to take the seventeen-year-old widow Naoka as his wife?

3. Who inspires Hilary Saltwood to become a missionary?

4. Who establishes a fort at Malacca in 1511?

5. How many rhinoceros horns does the Old Seeker tell chief Ngalo he needs?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Mfecane mean, and how does Mzilikazi contribute to the period of Mfecane?

2. Why are white miners starving in Chapter Twelve?

3. What is Mzilikazi's relationship with Shaka?

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

5. Given that Prince Henry of Portugal thinks Africa should be considered uncivilized until Christianity is taught to the natives, what is ironic about the way the Portuguese under Vasco da Gama behave in Sofala when they arrive there in 1498?

6. How do the Dutch respond when Chinese workers are recruited to work the mines?

7. Describe the unique appearance of the San people and how their lifestyle contributes to their appearance.

8. Why is Daniel Nxumalo arrested?

9. 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?

10. What is Willem Van Doorn's relationship with Jack, the Hottentot tribesman, and how does this relationship bring Willem into conflict with the Dutch leadership in the settlement?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the theme of apartheid in The Covenant. Include the perspective of both white and black South Africans. What do you think the author is trying to say about apartheid through his depiction of it in the novel? Cite examples from the text to support your arguments.

Essay Topic 2

What character flaws and strengths do you see in the Saltwood family through the generations depicted in The Covenant? Select at least three characters from the Saltwood family, each from a different generation, and discuss how their flaws and strengths help or hinder the characters in dealing with the conflicts in their relationships and in their historical eras. 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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