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 Helen notice about how journalist act towards each other in the field?

2. Where was Linh sent when he answered a Help Wanted ad?

3. Why is Helen rushing to meet Robert?

4. What does Darrow tell Helen during Christmas dinner?

5. What does Helen find as she is returning to her apartment?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. What happens when Linh meets his first American?

6. What happens in the evening of Helen's first trip into the field?

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

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

9. How does Helen feel about her relationship with Darrow and how does Darrow feel about it?

10. What does Helen do with her bags in the motel and why does she do it?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Helen collapses when she learns that Darrow is MIA. Everyone knows that MIA means dead. They simply have not found the body. It is Gary and Linh that break the news. Already Linh is taking care of Helen. The trek out to find the helicopter is not wise but it is something that Helen and Linh both feel is necessary. Near death experiences bring Helen and Linh even closer together. After their last experience with the boy soldier, Helen decides that it is time to go back to California.

Returning to California is a strange experience. Helen is numb with grief - grief for Darrow, for herself, and for Vietnam. Although everything in California has stayed the same, Helen has changed beyond measure. Charlotte does not know what to do to help her daughter.

1. Discuss, in depth, Helen's behavior immediately following Darrow's death in relation to her ambivalent feelings towards him. Use examples from your own life and the book to support your reasoning.

2. Why do you think Linh and Helen's near death experiences in the field draw them closer together? Do you think this would happen to any two people? Why or why not? Use examples from your own life and the book to support your reasoning.

3. Discuss the changes you think have occurred in Helen from her experience in Vietnam. Use examples from your own life and the book to support your reasoning.

4. What are some ways in which you believe Charlotte might be able to help her daughter? Use examples from your own life and the book to support your reasoning.

Essay Topic 2

There are a number of interesting questions raised by The Lotus Eaters. Questions that Soli 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 Soli' agenda. Analyze that idea throughout the book and discuss Soli' 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 Soli and see if/where his life may have influenced his writing.

Essay Topic 3

1. What is foreshadowing? How many incidences of foreshadowing are in The Lotus Eaters? How does foreshadowing contribute to a book's suspense?

2. Discuss an example of foreshadow in The Lotus Eaters including why you believe it is foreshadowing. Include examples from the book and your own life to illustrate your answer.

3. How do you think most people react to uncertainty in their lives? Use examples from The Lotus Eaters and your own live to support your opinion.

(see the answer keys)

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