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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. Why does the songwriter Naguchi commit suicide?
2. When does Ono feel the sense of triumph he had hoped for?
3. What does Moriyama wish to accomplish with his students?
4. What is the common subject of Moriyama's paintings?
5. Why does Moriyama declare himself unsatisfied with his early work?
Short Essay Questions
1. What happened to Moriyama's best student, Sasaki?
2. What European influences distinguished Moriyama's work from Utamaro's?
3. What stylistic devices does Moriyama copy from the classic artist, Utamaro?
4. How does Ono answer Ichiro's question about why men drink sake?
5. How does Ono console himself that he did not visit his old friend as often as he had intended to?
6. What does Matsuda believe was his and Ono's great misfortune?
7. What does Ono say the New Japan proved about him and about Matsuda?
8. When does Ono achieve his greatest feeling of triumph?
9. What does Matsuda say the smell of burning most likely means now that the war is long over?
10. Why does Ono approve of his teacher's distancing himself from his students' discussions?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
First, Shintaro calls Ono a traitor. Second, we learn about the artwork that has made him call his friend a traitor. Third, we learn of Matsuda's persuasive conversation that induced Ono to change his painting style, and fourth, we learn that the work resulted in his expulsion from Moriyama's tutelage. Analyze the way the clarity of the story is affected by this type of organization. Why do you think Ishiguro chose not to tell is story in simple chronological order? What effect does dealing with time in this way have on you as a reader?
Essay Topic 2
What do you see as Ishiguro's overarching theme in this story? Why did he write it? What is he trying to teach, and to whom? Consider the fact that the book was published first in English.
Essay Topic 3
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?
This section contains 792 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)