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. What book does Natalia describe as always being in her grandfather's breast pocket in the Prologue?

2. What does Natalia tells Zora she's going to buy when she takes the car to drive to Zdrevkov in Chapter 5: "The Orphanage"?

3. Lake Verimovo is described in Chapter 6: "The Fire" as being fed by what river?

4. Natalia's grandfather tells her in Chapter 6: "The Fire," "When men die, they die in fear. They take everything they need from you, and as a doctor it is your job to give it, to comfort them, to hold their hand. But children die how they have been living—in" what?

5. What word from Chapter 6: "The Fire" refers to patronage bestowed or favoritism shown on the basis of family relationship?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the author's language style in The Tiger's Wife. How would you describe the wording and stylistic devices used in the Prologue and Chapter 1: "The Coast"?

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. What discussion takes place in Chapter 6: "The Fire" between Natalia and her grandfather when he asks what she will choose to specialize in?

4. 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?

5. How does Fra Antun describe the objective of the diggers in Chapter 5: "The Orphanage"?

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

7. What incident involving being detained by customs officers at the border does Natalia describe in Chapter 6: "The Fire"?

8. What causes the argument between Natalia and Dure in Chapter 3: "The Diggers"? How does the conflict end?

9. What do Natalia and Zora go to the monastery to do in Chapter 5: "The Orphanage"? What is foreshadowed when Zora gives out candy?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Why do you think so many important characters in The Tiger’s Wife are not given first names? How does this choice relate to the genre of allegory? What would you consider to be archetypical aspects of each of these unnamed characters?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the character of the tiger’s wife as perceived through Natalia’s grandfather’s point of view. How close in age are the grandfather and the tiger’s wife in the grandfather’s stories? What do you think draws Natalia’s grandfather to this otherwise misunderstood character? Why does he attempt to help her?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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