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. Why is Thao jealous?

2. What does Darrow want to encourage Americans to do?

3. What does Helen say Robert would do if she agreed to his request?

4. What does Helen say she needs of Linh?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How does Helen's teaching Linh to swim change something for Linh?

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

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

6. What did Linh do while away from Helen and Darrow?

7. What happens when Helen calls Tom?

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

9. What happens to Darrow and Anderson?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze the theme of trust in The Lotus Eaters. Consider the following questions as you write: What characters are most concerned with trust? Why? What are some symbols of trust? Symbols of distrust? What characters seem trustworthy? Untrustworthy?

2. Trace and analyze the theme of courage in The Lotus Eaters. Which characters struggle with this issue? Why? Which characters seem to possess courage? Why?

3. Trace and analyze the theme of death in The Lotus Eaters. Consider the following questions as you write: What characters are most concerned with death? Why? What are some symbols of death? Symbols of life? What characters seem to want to die?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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