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. Why do the attendants bring an eagle?

2. Who figures out how to help the woman eat and speak again?

3. What does the drinkard turn himself into after they get to the river and cut down a tree?

4. How does the king try to make the drinkard and his wife talk?

5. How do the attendants complete the task the king assigns them, regarding the drinkard and his wife?

Short Essay Questions

1. In no more than three sentences, comment on the treatment of magic versus realism in this story. Are the two distinguishable within the world of this novel?

2. How is the "bush" personified in "Not Too Small to be Chosen"?

3. 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?

4. Why does the drinkard's initial plan to escape the white creatures backfire?

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

6. While living in "mixed town," the drinkard is asked to judge two separate cases, but he leaves them unresolved. How are they similar and what makes them hard to resolve?

7. Describe the white monster that the drinkard and his wife encounter in "No Road--Ought to Travel from Bush to Bush to the Dead's Town."

8. Why is the king from "We and the Wise King in the Wrong Town with the Prince Killer" described as wise?

9. 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?

10. Does the palm-wine drinkard receive a positive or negative reception from tapster in Dead's Town? How so?

Essay 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 The Palm-wine Drinkard is written by a Nigerian author and set in Nigeria, readers from anywhere can understand and appreciate it in their own way. What is universal about this story and why? Give at least three examples.

Essay Topic 3

While in Dead's Town the tapster explains that "alives" and "deads" can not live together because they each think the other group does everything backwards or incorrectly. Comment on this allegorical chapter using these questions to guide you:

(1) What happens in this chapter? Where else in the book do we find similar events and themes?

(2) What are these scene allegories for?

(3) Is there a moral lesson or resolution to these allegories? Explain why or why not.

(see the answer keys)

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