The Lotus Eaters: A Novel Test | Final 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 does Linh believe giving in to Thao's seduction will be?

2. What does Helen resent?

3. What does Thao wear to the dinner she prepares for Linh?

4. What does Linh say Darrow must be getting?

5. What can Helen see in Darrow?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens the morning after summer festivities and how does Helen feel about it?

2. What happens to Darrow and Anderson?

3. Where do Helen and Darrow stay? Who offers better quarters and what does Darrow say?

4. What happens between Darrow and Tanner at the party and what does Darrow tell Helen about Tanner?

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

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

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

8. Describe Helen and Darrow's visit to a Red Cross camp.

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

10. What does Robert ask Helen and what is her response?

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

It is true that Helen is addicted to war. She liked Vietnam upon arrival. Her family connection had brought her from the U.S. to the country at the beginning of the war. Others, such as Darrow, did not take her seriously at first, partly because many people were interested in seeing what was going on but few had the guts or wherewithal to understand or brave the real action. Besides, Helen was a young female and did not have the tarnish like many of the professionals that worked in the country.

Helen manages to keep at least some of her optimism. In many ways she does seem to be charmed. Many wonder if her risks and sacrifices are worth the pay off. In Helen's mind, there are no choices. She must stay in Saigon until the very last moment. Helen believes that she will survive.

1. Do you think someone can be addicted to war? Why or why not? Do you think Helen is? Use examples from your own life and the book to support your reasoning.

2. Discuss the various ways in which Helen is discriminated against because she is a woman. Include your opinion as to whether a female reporter in Iraq today would have the same problems. Use examples from your own life and the book to support your reasoning.

3. Do you think the risks Helen takes indicates she has some sort of death wish or that she might be mentally unstable or do you think the risks is worth the photographs? Use examples from your own life and the book to support your reasoning.

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)

This section contains 1,378 words
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