Anthills of the Savannah 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. Who disapproves of Beatrice's being physically intimate with Chris while the two are not married?

2. What does Ikem think of the President, Sam?

3. What does Chris say about Ikem's crusading editorials?

4. Which best describes the Commissioners' attitude toward the President as shown throughout Chapter 1?

5. What is Sam's great talent?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the American reporter's manner at the party. Why does Beatrice dislike her?

2. Whom does Okong warn the President about?

3. Why does Ikem feel exhilarated after his meeting with the taxi drivers?

4. Explain the story of the leopard and the tortoise. Why does the Abazon elder tell this story?

5. How, according to Ikem, do working-class people expect their leaders to live?

6. Why do most well-off city dwellers from Bassa never travel to the north of the country by bus?

7. Explain how the President came to power and why he needed Christopher Oriko's help.

8. Describe the male chauvinism in Beatrice's childhood home.

9. How has the President changed, according to Ikem, and why has he done so?

10. Describe Mad Medico's relationship to the President and his attitude toward him.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

According to The New York Review of Books, the novel Anthills of the Savannah "has wonderful satiric moments and resounds with big African laughter." Write an essay discussing the humor in the novel.

Essay Topic 2

A theme in the novel is the conflict between modern and traditional African cultures. Explore this conflict or dichotomy, considering the following questions:

1) How is modern culture contrasted with the traditional one in Chapter 3 as we go from a scene in traffic to a very mythical story of "Hymn to the Sun"?

2) Beatrice does not know much about traditional culture and is ignorant of myths such as the rather feminist story of Idemili. Why is this a bad thing?

3) What wisdom is possessed by the Abazon elders and how is this contrasted with the wisdom, or lack thereof, in the university group Ikem speaks to?

4) In what sense does Beatrice seem to have two people inside her--the prophetess and the modern, educated woman?

5) How do traditional and modern clash in the baby-naming ceremony in Chapter 18, and how is the conflict resolved?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the "Desdemona complex."

1) Who suffers from the Desdemona complex?

2) Is the complex just about sex, or is it about the allure of the "Other" in all of its aspects? Explain.

3) What does the Desdemona complex suggest about the state of African identity in post colonial times?

(see the answer keys)

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