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. In what kind of unit is Frank MacCrae serving?

2. What does Bao require Linh to do?

3. When does Linh first spot Helen?

4. Why is Saigon in chaos?

5. What did Linh do before he was drafted into the army?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens when Linh meets his first American?

2. What is Helen's first assignment from Gary?

3. What happens and who does Helen meet the first time she goes into the field with Darrow?

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

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

6. Why did Helen's brother go to Vietnam?

7. How does Linh end up working for the North?

8. Why does Darrow worry about Helen?

9. What happens when Helen and Linh arrive at the embassy?

10. What is Helen doing in the streets of Saigon when the novel opens and what does she see and do?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Discuss one of the following:

1. Thoroughly analyze how the setting informs the plot in The Lotus Eaters.

2. Trace and analyze one major theme of The Lotus Eaters. How is the theme represented by symbolism? By the characters' behaviors? By the action?

3. Trace and analyze two secondary themes of The Lotus Eaters. How are the themes represented by symbolism? By the characters' behaviors? By the action?

Essay Topic 3

It is true that Helen is addicted to war. She liked Vietnam upon arrival. Her family connection had brought her from the U.S. to the country at the beginning of the war. Others, such as Darrow, did not take her seriously at first, partly because many people were interested in seeing what was going on but few had the guts or wherewithal to understand or brave the real action. Besides, Helen was a young female and did not have the tarnish like many of the professionals that worked in the country.

Helen manages to keep at least some of her optimism. In many ways she does seem to be charmed. Many wonder if her risks and sacrifices are worth the pay off. In Helen's mind, there are no choices. She must stay in Saigon until the very last moment. Helen believes that she will survive.

1. Do you think someone can be addicted to war? Why or why not? Do you think Helen is? Use examples from your own life and the book to support your reasoning.

2. Discuss the various ways in which Helen is discriminated against because she is a woman. Include your opinion as to whether a female reporter in Iraq today would have the same problems. Use examples from your own life and the book to support your reasoning.

3. Do you think the risks Helen takes indicates she has some sort of death wish or that she might be mentally unstable or do you think the risks is worth the photographs? Use examples from your own life and the book to support your reasoning.

(see the answer keys)

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