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. Who is the Franciscan monk that runs the monastery and is Natalia and Zora's contact in Chapter 1: "The Coast"?

2. Who is the professor of biochemical engineering that failed to put in a good word for Natalia after her suspension?

3. How is Barba Ivan's boat described in Chapter 5: "The Orphanage"?

4. What kind of Balkan brandy is described as sitting about on the floor of Barba Ivan's home in Chapter 3: "The Diggers"?

5. What is the name of the twenty-one-year-old self-proclaimed gun-runner that Zora begins dating when she is fifteen in Chapter 2: "The War"?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Natalia describe her visit with her grandfather to Verimovo in Chapter 6: "The Fire"? Where did they go there?

2. What is the significance of the novel The Jungle Book in The Tiger's Wife? Who carries this book?

3. How does Natalia explain the presence of a tiger in the hills above Galina in Chapter 4: "The Tiger"? Where did the tiger come from?

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

5. How does Natalia discover the location of Zdrevkov in Chapter 5: "The Orphanage"? Why is this location important to Natalia?

6. 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"?

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

8. 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?

9. What is the outcome of the bet between Gavran Gaile and Natalia's grandfather in his story of the Deathless Man in Chapter 2: "The War"?

10. How does Natalia describe her grandfather's childhood in Chapter 4: "The Tiger"? Who raised Natalia's grandfather? Where did he grow up?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the nonlinear structure of The Tiger’s Wife. Why do you think the author chose to tell the story in this way, as opposed to a direct linear story, where the grandfather’s history is related first, or separately, from Natalia’s present-day storyline? Do you think this choice was effective in tying each of the three plot lines together?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the parallels between the narrative's three male orphans. Consider and comment on the similarities in their childhood circumstances, their interests and values, their adult experiences, and the circumstances and meanings of their deaths. What has led each of these characters to be orphaned? How did their abandonment influence them growing up?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the motif of the dog portraits in the novel. Who is depicted in these portraits? What does Natalia learn about the portraits from the boy at the orphanage in Chapter 6: “The Orphanage”? What do you think the portraits signify symbolically? How are these drawings connected to Natalia’s discoveries in the end of the novel?

(see the answer keys)

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