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. Where do Helen and Darrow visit?

2. Who does a soldier say were heroes?

3. What stories does Linh tell children while he was away?

4. Who gets into a fight at Robert's party?

5. What happens when Darrow and Anderson get on a flight together?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What happens with Robert?

3. What do Helen and Robert discuss concerning Vietnam?

4. What happens to Darrow and Anderson?

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

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

7. What happens when Helen goes out on assignment with Captain Olsen?

8. Why do Tanner and Darrow get into a fight?

9. What does Darrow tell Helen he has in Saigon and what does he say about his life?

10. What does Helen resent about Darrow?

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

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 3

Characters are an integral and important part of almost all novels. Discuss the following:

1. Compare/contrast the characters of Helen and Linh. How are they similar? How are they different? Is there a flaw in each of their personalities? Be specific and give examples.

2. Compare/contrast the characters of Linh and Darrow. How do they seem different? Which do you like more? Why? Which one seems more of a well-rounded character?

3. Thoroughly analyze how three of the secondary characters in The Lotus Eaters help drive the plot and what their contribution is to the storyline. Are any of the secondary characters unnecessary? Indispensable? Which of the secondary characters are likable? Which are either unlikable or even despicable? Be specific and give examples.

(see the answer keys)

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