The Lotus Eaters: A Novel Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Tatjana Soli
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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 does Linh try to teach Darrow?

2. What does Darrow make clear to Helen when she next sees him?

3. What type of stories did Helen do on Cambodia?

4. Why is Helen worried when she does not hear from Darrow?

5. Why is Saigon in chaos?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens when Helen and Linh board a medical helicopter?

2. How does Helen finally get to be seen like one of the boys?

3. How does Linh feel when he sees a picture of Helen and Darrow and why does he feel that way? What does he think about the picture?

4. What happens to Linh after Helen leaves him and what does Linh think about the events of the day?

5. Who does Helen meet in the Special Forces and what does she learn from him and what happens to him?

6. Why does Darrow worry about Helen?

7. Who does Helen meet at the river and what do they discuss?

8. What have Helen and Linh been doing for three years and why?

9. How does Helen meet Annick and what happens when she does?

10. What was Linh's life like before he was drafted into the army?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Helen gets her first real taste of being out in the field. Darrow seems to have no choice but to take Helen under his wing. The reader gets the impression that the main reason Helen wanted to go to Vietnam was to follow in her brother Michael's footsteps. Helen is told, none too gently, that she does not belong in Vietnam or in war time under any circumstances, and certainly not as a combat photographer. Helen is on the verge of fleeing the country many times but there is always something that makes her want to stay. For a while, that thing is Darrow. Helen and Darrow fall into an easy affair. Darrow, much older, is someone that Helen looks up to, someone that can train her. Darrow makes it clear that he is a married man and has no future with Helen. At first Helen is devastated but then realizes that perhaps it is best. Helen does not permit herself to miss Darrow while he is away.

1. Discuss the reasons you think Darrow has become Helen's mentor and whether you think he is a good mentor to her. Use examples from your own life and the book to support your reasoning.

2. Discuss what you think might have been Helen's relationship with her father and brother if she feels compelled to go to Vietnam because of what they did with their lives. Use examples from your own life and the book to support your reasoning.

3. Discuss what you think of Darrow's character in light of taking a much younger woman to mentor and then having an affair with her even though he is a married man. Use examples from your own life and the book to support your reasoning.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the following:

1. Who is/are the protagonists of the story and why?

2. Who is/are the antagonists of the story and why?

3. Which 3 secondary characters have the greatest impact on the plot?

4. Are any of the characters dispensable and which ones? Why or why not?

5. Do you think this is a character-driven plot or an action-driven plot? Explain.

Essay Topic 3

Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze the theme of trust in The Lotus Eaters. Consider the following questions as you write: What characters are most concerned with trust? Why? What are some symbols of trust? Symbols of distrust? What characters seem trustworthy? Untrustworthy?

2. Trace and analyze the theme of courage in The Lotus Eaters. Which characters struggle with this issue? Why? Which characters seem to possess courage? Why?

3. Trace and analyze the theme of death in The Lotus Eaters. Consider the following questions as you write: What characters are most concerned with death? Why? What are some symbols of death? Symbols of life? What characters seem to want to die?

(see the answer keys)

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