July's People Test | Final 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 is a gumbagumba?

2. What do Maureen and Bam listen to instead of their regular radio broadcast in Section 7?

3. What does the chief do that surprises the Smalls?

4. What are the chief’s final words to the Smalls in Section 8?

5. What does Maureen think the blacks would say about July’s actions in saving the Smalls?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Bam try to explain about why the chief shouldn’t kill his own people?

2. Why is Martha resentful toward Maureen when she asks where July has gone in Section 10?

3. What does the author mean when she says Victor is angry “with a white man’s anger, too big for him”?

4. Describe the gumba-gumba, and the resulting party atmosphere.

5. Explain why Maureen thinks they need to leave in Section 9.

6. Describe the birth of animals in the Smalls’ hut, and how that relates to the accusation of theft.

7. Explain how Maureen feels about her husband after living in the village for a time.

8. What does Martha wonder most about the white woman, when she lived in town with July?

9. Why do you think Maureen runs for the helicopter at the end of the novel, leaving her family behind?

10. Explain why the chief wants to learn to use a gun.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Although Maureen and Bam claim to be against the life of privileged whites, their children’s behaviors betray this concept. Choose one scene in which the behavior of the children leads one to believe they are, indeed, over privileged, and that they don’t share their parents’ views of equality for blacks.

Essay Topic 2

The children in the novel regress throughout the book, and by the end, they are having difficulty even reading. Describe at least three moments in the book where one of the children “loses” their privileged behaviors and instead substitutes behaviors they are learning from the village children. What does this indicate about their ability to adapt, as opposed to their parents’ ability?

Essay Topic 3

The photograph of Maureen and Lydia is a focal point for Maureen in the novel. Explain what that photograph would mean in apartheid South Africa. Why was this so important for Maureen as an adult? What did the photograph imply, to her, as she noted her ignorance? Do you think she has changed? How?

(see the answer keys)

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