An Artist of the Floating World 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. How does Ono convince his wife that an investigation for the sale of the house is not a problem?

2. Why does Ichiro refuse to help Noriko put away the breakfast things?

3. What position is Shintaro applying for?

4. What does Ono believe is more shameful than one's past mistakes?

5. How does Mrs. Saito feel about the demonstrations in the streets?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Ono say he would never forgive himself if he became like his father?

2. Why is Ono worried about Kuroda's attitude now?

3. Ono says that he would not have made his admission of guilt at the miai had he not felt compelled to do so. What social situation compelled him?

4. What does Shintaro ask Ono to do for him?

5. What tragic event happens to the mentally challenged Hirayama?

6. What does Ono see as the result of his confession during the miai?

7. Why does Ono conceal his efforts on her behalf from Noriko during the weeks leading up to the miai?

8. Why does Ono lose respect for Shintaro?

9. Why does Ono decide to watch Mitsuo during the miai?

10. How does the Migi-Hidari show its loyalty to the emperor?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Ishiguro devotes a great deal of description to the physical venues of Ono's city. Take the point of view of a reporter who is visiting the city to report on its postwar condition in 1948. As a reporter, what would you say about the parks? The homes? The pleasure district? If you returned in 1950, what would you report? Have there been significant changes? In your second paragraph, take the point of view of the same reporter returning after two years to observe the physical differences. What is still there? What is gone? What is there that wasn't before?

Essay Topic 2

Moriyama said that the floating world disappears with dawn and sobriety. His work was to try to capture and validate the beauty of that world. But the phrase "floating world" means more. What else does the phrase represent? Why do you think Ishiguro chose it for the title?

Essay Topic 3

Many questions in this story are left unanswered or answered only by implication. Did Ono's father burn his paintings? Did Moriyama burn his paintings? Why did the Miyakes withdraw from the marriage negotiations? Discuss such subtleties and ambiguities as a stylistic device for you as a reader. Do you find it intriguing? Frustrating? Both? Neither? For instance, how would the story have been different if the author had simply said, "The Miyakes withdrew abruptly from the marriage negotiations when they talked to Kuroda and learned that Ono had turned him in to the patriotism committee," or "My father tried to teach me that art was an unacceptable career choice by burning my paintings."

(see the answer keys)

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