The Lotus Eaters: A Novel Test | Final 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 Darrow say about himself?

2. Where does Helen go with two green berets?

3. What does Linh say having Helen around has done?

4. What do Darrow and Tanner decide?

5. What does Helen resent?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Darrow's wife win the right to do?

2. What happens with Robert?

3. What trip does Linh talk Helen into taking with him?

4. Who is Thao and what does she feel towards Linh and Helen?

5. What happens to Helen that has Darrow telling her she is better off without belief?

6. What do Annick and Helen discuss when she has dinner with Annick?

7. What do Helen and Darrow discuss concerning Linh and his helping Helen?

8. Describe the dinner Thao has for Linh.

9. Where do Linh and Helen go and what is happening with Darrow?

10. What do Helen and Robert discuss concerning Vietnam?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Often, authors will write about "what they know," and sometimes knowing a little about the author makes the books more interesting. Discuss the following:

1. Research and give a brief biographical sketch of Tatjana Soli.

2. What in Soli's background may have helped him in writing The Lotus Eaters? What may have influenced the way he depicts various characters and scenes?

3. Do you think there is always some of the author's own life in his/her novels? Why or why not? Give examples.

Essay Topic 2

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.

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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