Kokoro 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. Where do the narrator and Sensei go during the flower-viewing season in Part I: Sensei and I?

2. The narrator states in Part I: Sensei and I, that although he profited greatly from his conversations with Sensei, he found him very unsatisfactory as what?

3. Sensei tells the narrator in Part I: Sensei and I, “[I]f you ever allow yourself to feel betrayed, you will then find yourself being” what?

4. Where was Natsume Soseki born, according to the book’s Forward?

5. After the narrator makes an amused comment about a loving couple in the garden during flower-viewing season in Part I: Sensei and I, what does Sensei ask him?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Soseki want to know about Sensei’s past? What conversation takes place regarding trust at the tree nursery in Part I, Sensei and I?

2. Where does the narrator first see Sensei? How does he go about approaching him?

3. When and where was Kokoro first published? What insight does the translator give to the meaning of the title in the Forward?

4. What does the author of the Forward say of Soseki Natsume’s education and works?

5. Describe the setting of Kokoro. Where does most of the action in the novel take place?

6. What event does Sensei’s wife describe that hints at the reason Sensei changed and became removed from the world in Part I, Sensei and I?

7. What is foreshadowed through Soseki and Sensei’s discussion of trust in the first section of Part I, Sensei and I?

8. What is the narrative point-of-view in Kokoro? How is this perspective fitting for the novel?

9. What conversation does the narrator have with Sensei regarding trust in Part I, Sensei and I?

10. Where is Sensei when the narrator first goes to his home in Tokyo? Where does the narrator eventually find Sensei?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Women’s Roles in Kokoro

a. Discuss the differences and similarities between gender roles in the novel. How do expectations of men and women differ in terms of education, society, and culture?

b. Compare and contrast Shizu and Soseki’s mother in the novel. How does Soseki view his mother’s opinions versus those of Shizu?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss Soseki’s studies at the university in Part I: Sensei and I. What is implied as Soseki’s focus of study? Where does he live while in Tokyo? What does Soseki have in common with Sensei regarding his education?

Essay Topic 3

Plot Structure

a. Discuss the plot structure of Kokoro. In what ways is the narrative related and what effect does this have on the reader?

b. How does Kokoro compare with other novels written during this time period? Are there specific stylistic elements that can be seen in Soseki’s writing?

(see the answer keys)

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