The Palm-wine Drinkard and His Dead Palm-wine Tapster in the Dead's Town Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Who is the narrator of this novel? What is he like?

The palm-wine drinkard is the narrator of this novel. He loves palm-wine more than anything else. When his tapster dies, his first reaction is to tap more palm-wine. Only after that does he bury his tapster.

2. What kind of story is this? How is it told?

The novel starts out like a folk or fairy tale. However, it is not all sugar plums and fairy dust. Instead, there is a grotesque element. The characters Death and Skull clearly exemplify this. It is also important to note the travel theme. Like in many didactic stories (especially epics), the main character embarks on a journey and must use his or her special abilities (wit, skill, magic, etc.) to overcome several challenges.

3. Describe the palm-wine drinkard's relationship with his friends at the beginning of the story.

The drinkard's relationship with his friends is superficial. After his tapster dies and there is no more palm-wine, the friends cease to come to his house and barely acknowledge his existence. (This is a pattern that will repeat throughout the story.)

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