The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Catherynne M. Valente
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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 is a Marid?

2. What are the names of two women September encounters?

3. What does The Marquess offer September?

4. For what do they use the sash from the Green Jacket?

5. What portrait is in the hall where September finds herself?

Short Essay Questions

1. What must all travelers do, and what does Lye wash into September?

2. What does September decide about Saturday; what does Iago decide about Ell and what is Ell's response?

3. What is September contemplating when interrupted by the Marquess, and what does the Marquess say about September's journey?

4. What does September not do as she is leaving home and what is the explanation given for her not doing so?

5. What does Goodbye offer to do in exchange for what?

6. What is required by Longitude and Latitude when September reaches the gateway to Fairyland, and then what does September do after completing the requirements for entering Fairyland?

7. Who are the witches September encounters and what do they do with her?

8. Who is Calpurnia Farthing and whom has she rescued?

9. Where is September swimming and what is the shore like when she gets to it?

10. In how many directions does the signpost point; what are September's choices, and what does she decide?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the following:

1. What is a plot? What are the most important elements of a plot and their definition? Do all novels have a plot? Why or why not?

2. Write a brief synopsis of the plot of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland, identifying where the various elements of the plot occur (Exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution or denouement). Do you find it difficult to identify the plot? Why or why not? What about the various elements of the plot?

3. Identify the major sub-plots and their elements in The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland. (The subplots may not contain every element of a major plot). Do the sub-plots add to the main plot? Why or why not. Are the sub-plots interesting in and of themselves? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Choose one of the following to discuss:

1. Choose two significant symbols and trace and analyze their appearance in The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland. Are these universal symbols? Would they be understood in any culture? Are there other symbols that would portray the same idea? What are they? Why do you think Valente chooses the symbols she does?

2. Choose two important metaphors and trace and analyze their appearance in the novel. Are these universal metaphors? Would they be understood in any culture? Are there other metaphors that would portray the same idea? What are they? Why do you think Valente chooses the metaphors she does?

3. Discuss Valente's use (or lack ) of literary device (such as foreshadowing, cliffhangers, deux ex machina, others), and how they add or detract from the story. Does Valente use too many or too few literary techniques? State which of the five major elements of fiction the literary device is related to (style, character, plot, setting, theme).

Essay Topic 3

The appearance of Death in Chapter 12 is a particularly intriguing aspect of the book, in that traditionally, mythologically and spiritually, Death is perceived and/or presented as much more threatening than its portrayal here. The explanation Death offers for this is quite thought provoking, and may well trigger, in the reader, an imagining of how death might look to him/her self and to others. In any case, the concept of Death, as defined here, seems to be related to a more broadly based experience than simply the end of physical life. In many spiritual philosophies and practices, including (for example) tarot cards, death is viewed as a symbolic representation of transformation, of moving from one phase of existence into another. As such, death is often encountered, albeit in a variety of forms, on The Hero's Journey, a narrative that, in a very fundamental way, is all about transformation, about leaving an old world and old ways behind. In short, September's encounter with Death here is not about an actual physical death, but a death of a younger, more naïve, less courageous version of herself.

1. Discuss two events in a person's life that could be considered a type of death that is not physical death. Compare those to one situation in September's life. Use examples from your life and the text to support your answer.

2. Discuss the transformation which occurs in September as she moves through her journey in Fairyland. Use examples from your life and the text to support your answer.

3. Why do you think death might be viewed symbolically as a transformation in an individual's life or person? Use examples from your life and the text to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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