The Namesake 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. What did Ashima do upon first meeting Ashoke when he visited her family home in India?

2. How does a book save Ashoke's life?

3. What kind of home does Gogol live in as an infant?

4. How does Gogol/Nakhil feel when people who used to call him Gogol use his new name?

5. What do guests say about Sonia at the rice ceremony?

Short Essay Questions

1. When Gogol is six, what event changes in the Ganguli family?

2. What happens when Gogol wants to see his girlfriend, Ruth, over the Christmas holidays?

3. How does Gogol react to the gifts he receives at his fourteenth birthday party?

4. What does Ashoke think about while Ashima is in labor?

5. Why aren't Ashoke and Ashima concerned that they don't have a name picked out before the birth of their child?

6. Why doesn't the school call Gogol by the name Nikhil?

7. What do the Gangulis do differently when naming their daughter Sonali than they did when Gogol was born?

8. What type of home do the Gangulis settle down in to raise their family?

9. How are the Ganguli family plans changed while preparing for a visit to India when Gogol is a year old?

10. How does Gogol feel about his family during visits home from college?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The author uses unexpected events to change the direction of the story. One such event is Ashoke's death, but there are others. Cite at least three other examples of other such events and tell how they change the direction of the plot.

Essay Topic 2

The author chooses to use a common third-person voice for the narrative, but tells the story as if in the present. This is not common in literature. Tell whether you think this works well for this story. Tell why or why not and support you case by citing examples from the book that you feel are best told this way or that would be better told differently.

Essay Topic 3

The author's descriptive style of writing is simple and straight-forward, helping her win a Pulitzer Prize. She uses it for both the story itself and to describe the settings. Do you believe this style works for both? Does this style work to delve deeply into the character's minds? Tell why you think the way you do. Did she do a better job of describing Indian immigrants or every-day native-born Americans? Tell why or why not. Cite examples from the novel to support your case.

(see the answer keys)

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