Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Rhoda Blumberg
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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 did Commodore Perry not know about the Emperor?

2. What did the Shogun do?

3. Who was the first Englishman to arrive in Japan?

4. Of what does Manjiro assure the Shogun?

5. What is illegal for the Emperor to do without permission of the government?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the life of the Dutch who resided in Deshima.

2. Why did the Dutch submit to the rigid restrictions of the Japanese?

3. What had Japan been like before the time of Commodore Perry's arrival?

4. Who is Kayama; what did he want, and what was Commodore Perry's response to him?

5. What happened after Shogun Ieyasu died?

6. Describe the role of the Emperor of Japan at that time.

7. Who were the samurai?

8. What did the Japanese try to do and what did Commodore Perry order his men to do and why?

9. Where did messengers ride when the ships were spotted, and what was the consequence?

10. What was the Tokugawa period and some of its positive aspects?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Rhoda Blumberg has tried as much as possible to use historical events and facts around which to weave her work of fiction. Discuss the following:

1. Do you think The Hundred Days qualifies as an Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun? Why or why not?

2. If much of the events in the book are historical, what surprises you about the way the people, technology, ideas, etc... are portrayed?

3. Are the Americans more or less advanced than you pictured for the mid -1800s? Explain with examples. Are the Japanese more or less advanced than you pictured for the mid -1800s? Explain with examples.

Essay Topic 2

In the world of academe, historical fiction is often considered an inferior form of the novel compared to "classic" literature. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think historical fiction might be considered second-rate compared to the classics, such as books by an author such as Charles Dickens?

2. Do you think historical fiction has the same elements as the classics? Why or why not?

3. What are the purposes do you think for people reading "the classics"? What are the purposes for people reading historical fiction? Is one purpose better than another? Explain your response.

4. Would you read historical fiction even outside an educational setting? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the following:

1. What is a plot? What are the most important elements of a plot and their definition? Do all novels have a plot? Why or why not?Can an historical fiction have a plot?

2. Write a brief synopsis of the plot of Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun, identifying where the various elements of the plot occur (Exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution or denouement). Do you find it difficult to identify the plot? Why or why not? What about the various elements of the plot?

3. Identify the major sub-plots and their elements in Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun. (The subplots may not contain every element of a major plot). Do the sub-plots add to the main plot? Why or why not. Are the sub-plots interesting in and of themselves? Why or why not.

(see the answer keys)

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