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 is the protagonist's name?

2. What was notable about the the protagonist's father?

3. Why is the terrible animal mad?

4. Before entering the white tree, what do the drinkard and his wife do?

5. Which god does the king make the drinkard meet?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Death and his house.

2. Comment on the parent-child relationship, during "On the Way to an Unknown Place." What is significant about the characters' roles?

3. What lesson can be learned from the little creature on Wraith-Island who was not picked by the King to help clear the corn fields?

4. Who is "Faithful-Mother"? What is her responsibility?

5. Comment on how the drinkard deals with his insatiable son.

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

7. Describe the "half-bodied baby." Who is he and what is he like?

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

9. There is a common saying, "like father like son." How is this true in respect to the drinkard and his son Zurrjir?

10. Describe Skull and his house.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Comment on how the story ends. Be sure to address the following questions:

(1) What type of ending is this? Why?

(2) Is there closure? How so or how is there not?

(3) Why might the author have ended the story this way? What is significant or symbolic about this type of ending?

Essay Topic 2

Although written in the folktale fashion, The Palm-wine Drinkard is a product of an educated Nigerian man who wrote for an English speaking publisher, during the 20th century. Discuss the balance between African tradition and Western modernization. Use at least three distinct examples from the book.

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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