A Personal Matter 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 does Bird identify himself as when he arrives at the hospital?

2. Who is looking for a fight with Bird?

3. What kind of book is Bird looking at as the novel begins?

4. From what is Bird suffering this morning?

5. Who does Bird encounter when he leaves the shop?

Short Essay Questions

1. What advice does Bird's mother-in-law give him regarding visiting his wife?

2. How does the doctor exhibit insensitivity toward Bird about the baby on the way to the hospital?

3. How is Bird's encounter with the gang a boost to his flailing ego?

4. Who are the people who Bird encounters when he gets to the maternity hospital?

5. How is sex and sexuality a means for Bird to avoid responsibility?

6. How does Bird learn that his child has a problem?

7. What is the significance of Himiko's character in the story?

8. What is the significance of the students in Bird's class and what do they represent after his in-class vomiting incident?

9. How does Bird's thoughts about his child as a war hero show what Bird really feels about the journey ahead for the child and himself?

10. What is unusual about the doctor who speaks to Bird about the baby?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explain what it means that Bird is a man who keeps running away. In what areas does Bird seemingly fail? How does Bird feel about these failures? What is the turning point where Bird refuses to run away any longer?

Essay Topic 2

Create a character study of Himiko. What are her physical characteristics? What are her motivations? What are her fears? What are her dreams? What else can you say about Himiko?

Essay Topic 3

Kenzaburo Oe is a master at dramatic devices. Choose an example of symbolism, metaphors, and irony, briefly describe them and identify the technique which they embody.

(see the answer keys)

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