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 difference does Ashima notice in her days before and after Gogol's birth?

2. Why doesn't Ashoke explain how Gogol came about his name when he gives him the book by Nikoli Gogol?

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

4. How many people come to Sonia's rice ceremony when she's six months old?

5. What do Gogol's parents think of his wanting to change his name?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who befriends Ashima at the hospital and how?

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

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

4. What happens when Gogol's train coming home from college is late?

5. What happens when Gogol takes an English class in high school?

6. What does Gogol do during the traditional rice ceremony when he is six months old?

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

8. How do Ashima and Ashoke feel about Ruth when they learn of their son's girlfriend?

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

10. What does Ashima think about while in labor?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Distance is one major theme in this novel. Explore the author's use of distance in the book, both physical and emotional, and tell how and where it is found and what the author accomplishes by using this theme. Cite examples from the story to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

Gogol's resistance to Indian traditions is a theme in this novel, but several times he return to those traditions. One time is after his father's death but there are others. Cite at least three times he returned willingly to his Indian traditions and what resulted from those choices. Do you think the author's decision to keep him coming back to those traditions helped or hindered the story? Support your answer with examples from the book.

(see the answer keys)

This section contains 771 words
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