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 doesn't September do as she is leaving home?

2. In and out of what does a little girl transform back and forth?

3. Where does September eventually get?

4. What can a Marid do?

5. Who is on a list of beings barred by the ruler of Fairyland?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Ell tell September about Pandemonium and why doesn't he know much?

3. How does September leave home and what does she leave behind?

4. Describe the conversation between Lye and September.

5. How does Queen Mallow construct the city of Pandemonium?

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

7. Who is on the shores of the Barleybroom River and what are they waiting to do?

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

9. Describe the exchange between the Marquess and September concerning the Spoon.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

There are a number of interesting questions raised by The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland. Questions that Valente most likely want readers to consider and think through carefully. Discuss the following:

1. What does the term "author agenda" mean?

2. Name one idea/concept you think may have been a part of the Valente's agenda. Analyze that idea throughout the book and discuss Valente's probable agenda concerning that idea.

2. Do you think writers who have an agenda for writing should point it out in a preface?

3. How often do you think fiction is written with a clear agenda in mind by the author?

4. Research the life of Valente and see if/where her life may have influenced her writing.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

Discuss one of the following:

1. Thoroughly analyze how the setting informs the plot in The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland.

2. Trace and analyze one major theme of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland. How is the theme represented by symbolism? By the characters' behaviors? By the action?

3. Trace and analyze two secondary themes of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland. How are the themes represented by symbolism? By the characters' behaviors? By the action?

(see the answer keys)

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