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 are the Glashtyn?

2. Who takes September from her home?

3. What does September do with the Spoon?

4. What is the guardian called?

5. What might speed their journey along?

Short Essay Questions

1. Where does the red carpet lead September and Ell and what do they watch?

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

3. Who is in the lobster cage; why is he in the cage and what can he do?

4. What do Ell and September have to pass through to meet with the Marquess and what happens to Ell?

5. Describe the conversation between Lye and September.

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

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

8. What does Saturday suggest as a mode of rapid transportation?

9. What has Ell memorized and how does he get the name September chooses for him?

10. Who wakes September after a quiet night's sleep and what do the two say to each other?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Characters are an important part of what makes The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland interesting. Discuss the following:

1. Thoroughly discuss and analyze September. What are her strengths? Her weaknesses? How does she contribute to the plot? Is she a sympathetic character? Is she ever likable? Never likable? Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.

2. Thoroughly discuss and analyze the character of The Marquess. What are her strengths? Her weaknesses? How does she contribute to the plot? Is she a sympathetic character? Is she ever likable? Never likable? Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.

3. Thoroughly discuss and analyze the character of Ell. What are his strengths? His weaknesses? How does he contribute to the plot? Is he a sympathetic character? Is he ever likable? Never likable? Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.

Essay Topic 2

Many novels, and perhaps a majority, of novels end on a happy note. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think many (most?) people want what they perceive as a happy or good ending to a novel? Explain your opinion. Do you? Why or why not?

2. What are three reasons to read fiction? Discuss each one in light of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland and whether or not it fulfills all three, two or one of the reasons you mention. Give examples as to why The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland is or is not successful in fulfilling the reasons you discuss.

3. Do you think reading solely for entertainment is as good a reason to read as any other? Why or why not? Can any work of fiction or non-fiction, no matter how poorly written, enlighten, teach, stimulate thought? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

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).

(see the answer keys)

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