The Lover Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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. The narrator has ____ older sibling(s).

2. During the scene on the ferry, why does the narrator go to stand by the railing?

3. How does the narrator view Hélène Lagonelle?

4. Who are evident but unequal friends in the novel?

5. What does the narrator consider takes a personal toll on women?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the narration of events work in this novel? Is the way that narrator chooses to tell the story confusing or compelling?

2. Describe the narrator's outfit in Segment 2. In what way does it transform her?

3. Do the narrator and the lover have contact at any point after the narrator leaves Chochinchina for France? If so, describe this contact.

4. How does the narrator feel after she receives news of the younger brother's death?

5. How does the mother feel about the education of her children? How do they act in return?

6. Why does the mother consider writing, in regards to a career for the narrator, to be unconscionable?

7. Once wealthy, now all of the family's money is tied up in property investments. Describe the family property around the time the narrator visits it.

8. What does the relationship do to the couple with reference to society?

9. Describe what would happen to the wives of the colonial potentates and the law of error.

10. In what way does the narrator participate in the trend of the colonial potentates taking younger French mistresses?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

At a point in the novel, the narrator compares her love for the lover to water hidden in sand. What does the narrator mean by this? When does the narrator realize she loved the lover? How does that come about?

Essay Topic 2

Look at the character of the older brother. Regardless of his bullying and wastrel ways, he is the favorite of the mother. What aspects of family life lead him to act the way that he does? How could the mother have affected his life if she had chosen to treat him differently? Is his attitude and personality connected to his later life? What happens to the older brother in the novel?

Essay Topic 3

French Indochina was a French colony predominantly made up of non-Caucasian natives and French and foreign colonists. How would this arrangement lead to the presence of institutional or colonial racism? How is colonial racism addressed in this novel? What characters in the novel express racism? Provide examples.

(see the answer keys)

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