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

Tatjana Soli
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 135 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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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. Why does Darrow put his camera down during a battle?

2. What does Helen think she needs to do if she is going to survive Vietnam?

3. Who was the first American Linh ever met?

4. What does Helen notice about how journalist act towards each other in the field?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What happens when Linh meets his first American?

5. 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?

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

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

8. How does Helen survive in Saigon without Darrow?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Many novels, and perhaps a majority, of novels ends on a happy note. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think many (most?) people want what they perceive as a happy or good ending to a novel? Explain your opinion. Do you? Why or why not?

2. What are three reasons to read fiction? Discuss each one in light of The Lotus Eaters and whether or not it fulfills all three, two or one of the reasons you mention. Give examples as to why The Lotus Eaters is or is not successful in fulfilling the reasons you discuss.

3. Do you think reading solely for entertainment is as good a reason to read as any other? Why or why not? Can any work of fiction or non-fiction, no matter how poorly written, enlighten, teach, stimulate thought? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

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 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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