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. In what kind of unit is Frank MacCrae serving?

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

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

4. What does Linh try to teach Darrow?

5. What does Helen start to do so the soldiers will respect her?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why does Darrow worry about Helen?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. What happens when Linh meets his first American?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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