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. What do Helen and Curt talk about on the way out of the field?

2. What does Bao require Linh to do?

3. What does a soldier say about the Vietnamese and life?

4. What job does Helen have in Saigon?

5. What worries Darrow about Helen the most?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. Why does Darrow worry about Helen?

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

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

9. What have Helen and Linh been doing for three years and why?

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

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

Many readers of fiction place themselves in the position of one character, wondering if they would do the same thing as that character. Discuss the following:

1. Do you think one of the values of literature is to serve as a reflection of oneself? Why or why not?

2. Socrates said "Know thyself." How can reading a book such as The Lotus Eaters help a reader to know him/herself? Do you find yourself reflecting on your own character and abilities when reading The Lotus Eaters? Why or why not.

3. Choose one specific incident in The Lotus Eaters to discuss and compare one of the characters' response to how you think you would respond.

Essay Topic 3

Marriage seems unavoidable for Helen and Linh. While Helen wants only a simple civil ceremony, Linh insists on a Buddhist ceremony. They can have a civil ceremony in Saigon if Helen wishes but it is important to Linh to marry in a traditional way. Despite the times, Helen is equally traditional and is grateful that she never shared her apartment with another man.

The story returns to the fall of Saigon and the exit of Helen, Tanner, Matt, and other foreign correspondents. Soli adds in some mysticism. Someone gives Helen a Buddhist coin which she takes with her to Cambodia. When Helen's convoy is hit, it is unclear what has happened or how, who is injured or dead. It seems that clutching the coin in her mouth has somehow saved Helen and the others.

It is grief that brings Linh and Charlotte together. Helen is assumed dead but Linh knows in his heart that she is alive. Robert helps out once again by sending Linh on assignment in Cambodia. Linh will have a difficult time finding ways to get information but is prepared to turn over every stone to find Helen.

1. Do you think Helen and Linh getting married was inevitable? Why or why not? Use examples from your own life and the book to support your reasoning.

2. Discuss the reasons that Helen might be so traditional about marriage when she was not traditional about having affairs or about going to Vietnam as a female combat photographer. Use examples from your own life and the book to support your reasoning.

3. Discuss the reasons why grief over the same person might draw two strangers together. Use examples from your own life and the book to support your reasoning.

(see the answer keys)

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