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 a soldier say about the Vietnamese and life?

3. What is Helen's brother's name?

4. What job does Helen have in Saigon?

5. What does Mr. Bao know about Linh?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How does Helen survive in Saigon without Darrow?

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

5. How does Helen meet Darrow and what happens when she does?

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

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

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

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

10. Why is Helen stopped on the street and what happens when she is stopped?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Titles often play a vital role in making a person decide to read a particular book. Discuss the following:

1. Fully explain why you think The Lotus Eaters is titled as such. Do you think it is the best title for the book? Why or why not? Can you think of a better title? Why would you choose it?

2. How important is a title in influencing you to consider reading a book? Explain your answer.

3. Do you think a title needs to have direct relevance to a book's content? Explain your answer.

4. Have you ever read a book that when you finished, you do not understand the relevance of the title? Does it discourage you from "trusting" that particular author again?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Characters are an important part of what makes The Lotus Eaters interesting. Discuss the following:

1. Thoroughly discuss and analyze Helen. 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 Sam Darrow. 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.

3. Thoroughly discuss and analyze the character of Linh. 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.

(see the answer keys)

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