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 note about the hospital's Director?

2. Who tells Bird about the baby's condition at the other hospital?

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

4. How does Bird get to the hospital?

5. What is the profession of the person in #54?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the significance of the two men who come to Himiko's home?

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

3. What is Bird doing at the beginning of A PERSONAL MATTER? What is going on with Bird's wife and how does Bird think his life will soon change?

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

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

6. Waking up sick with a hangover, what does Bird think might serve as partial restitution for the baby's dire situation?

7. What does Bird observe when he visits his father-in-law at the university?

8. Where does Bird go after leaving his father-in-law's office?

9. At what stage is Bird in his journey of personal transformation at this point?

10. What seems to exaggerate Bird's feelings of inadequacy at the arcade?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Abandonment seems to be almost an unnamed character in the book. How pervasive is the sense of abandonment? Why does it have such a prevalent place in the lives of the characters? Explain how an inanimate object or characteristic can be a character.

Essay Topic 2

Explain the internal conflict Bird feels about his life. Does he not want to be married? Does he not want a child? Does he really just want to run away to Africa and forget his responsibilities? Why did Bird engage in a relationship with his wife if he was not ready?

Essay Topic 3

Explain the role of women in 1960s Japan when the women in the novel are living their lives. What precedents do they feel compelled to follow? What restrictions do they have? What freedoms did they have that 21st century women do not have?

(see the answer keys)

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