The Tiger's Wife Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Téa Obreht
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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. Where does Natalia describe a college student firebombing a zoo concession stand in Chapter 2: "The War"?

2. Who gave Natalia's grandfather his cherished copy of The Jungle Book?

3. What season is it when Natalia describes her earliest memory of going to the zoo with her grandfather in the Prologue?

4. What is the name of the boy that is raised by wolves in The Jungle Book?

5. How long ago does Natalia say she was with her grandfather when he discovered his illness at the Military Academy of Medicine in Chapter 1: "The Coast"?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the narrative style of The Tiger's Wife. Is the story related from a first, second, or third-person point of view? Is the narrator involved in the action of the story?

2. How would you describe the change in the style of the narrative in the grandfather's story about the Deathless Man in Chapter 2: "The War"?

3. How does Natalia describe the hunt for the tiger that involved Luka in Chapter 4: "The Tiger"? What themes does this story evoke?

4. Discuss the ethnic tensions that are seen in The Tiger's Wife. What do these tensions tell you about the setting and characters in the story?

5. How is the departure of Gavran Gaile described in Chapter 6: "The Fire"? What does he remind Natalia's grandfather of before he leaves?

6. What is Natalia's objective in Chapter 1: "The Coast"? Where is she going and what is her mission there?

7. How does Natalia describe her grandfather's reinvention of himself after the war in Chapter 6: "The Fire"?

8. In Chapter 2: "The War," Natalia comments, "Everything necessary to understand my grandfather lies between two stories." What are these stories and what does Natalia mean by this comment?

9. What is symbolized by Natalia's grandfather's ritual visits to the zoo in the Prologue and Chapter 1: "The Coast"? How does this tradition play into the novel's themes?

10. Why are the diggers digging in the vineyard in Chapter 3: "The Diggers"? How does the objective of the diggers relate to the novel's themes?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the different rituals surrounding death that are explored in The Tiger’s Wife. What are the origins and history of these rituals? How do these rituals compare with the rituals of death in your own culture? What are the benefits of these rituals, as seen in the narrative?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the setting of The Tiger’s Wife. Where is author Tea Obreht from and how is this setting reflected in the novel? Why do you think the author chose to set the story in a “fictional” Balkan country as opposed to using actual names of places? How does the author differentiate the settings of “the city” versus those of rural areas?

Essay Topic 3

Analyze and discuss the characteristics, actions, objectives, and obstacles of Barba Ivan, Nada, and Fra Antun in the novel. How does Natalia relate to each of these characters? How do these characters treat Natalia differently than the other citizens across the border? Why?

(see the answer keys)

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