The Palm-wine Drinkard and His Dead Palm-wine Tapster in the Dead's Town 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 "right thing" does the old man (a god) want the drinkard to bring back from the black-smith?

2. What is the bed in Death's house made of?

3. Why does the man with eyes in back of his knees chase the drinkard and his wife?

4. About how much does "half-bodied baby" weight by the time the drinkard starts carrying him?

5. What happens when the woman gets off the bullfrog?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does "Faithful-Mother" give the drinkard and his wife when they depart?

2. What is symbolic about the magic seeds?

3. In the first town that the palm-wine drinkard visits, he meets an old man who gives him two challenges. How does the drinkard complete these tasks and what does this say about his human and non-human abilities?

4. Describe the hungry-creature.

5. When following and spying on Skull, what does the drinkard turn himself into and why?

6. Describe the drinkard's reaction when he saves the woman from Skull, brings her home, but then cannot get the cowrie off her neck, which prevents her from speaking and eating. Why is this significant?

7. How do the townspeople treat the drinkard after the egg breaks?

8. What did the drinkard and his wife do with their death and fear? Why is this significant?

9. How do the drinkard and his wife eventually escape from the white creatures?

10. Describe how the "Invisible-Pawn" gets his work done.

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Fantasy and Magical Realism are two distinct but related literary genres. Discuss:

(1) The differences between the two genres.

(2) Can The Palm-wine Drinkard be considered a fantasy? Why or why not?

(3) Can The Palm-wine Drinkard be considered a an example of Magical Realism? Why or why not?

(4) How would you classify The Palm-wine Drinkard?

Essay Topic 2

Family is a common theme in literature. Focus on one example of a family theme in this novel, explaining why it falls under this category, why it is significant within the novel, and finally, how your example is symbolic beyond the text (is there a message here?)

Essay Topic 3

Although the drinkard is named "Father of gods who could do everything in this world," he is not omnipotent. It takes more than a twitch of his nose or a snap of his fingers to accomplish his feats. This being said, the drinkard uses a combination of supernatural magic and human wit when dealing with challenges. Discuss how he is fantastical, how he is human, and why this combination makes him a compelling character.

(see the answer keys)

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