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. The narrator tells Sensei in Part I: Sensei and I, “I value your opinions because they are the results of your” what?

2. How many tea houses does the narrator describe on the beach in the beginning of Part I: Sensei and I?

3. What word from Part I: Sensei and I, mean the absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement?

4. What Japanese province is Sensei from?

5. What type of tree in the cemetery does Sensei make a point of walking past every time he visits his friend’s grave, according to the narrator in Part I: Sensei and I?

Short Essay Questions

1. What occurrence leads up to Soseki and Sensei’s discussion of guilt in love in Part I, Sensei and I?

2. Soseki has said that he is often disappointed by Sensei’s responses. How is this illustrated after Soseki visits Sensei after completing his term paper in Part I, Sensei and I?

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

4. What leads to Soseki’s return to Tokyo after staying with his parents in Part I, Sensei and I? What does Sensei tell him when he first visits after his return?

5. 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?

6. What does Sensei ask Soseki on their walk in the tree nursery after Soseki has completed his thesis in Part I, Sensei and I?

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

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

9. How is Sensei’s drinking described in Part I, Sensei and I? Why is this significant?

10. What does Sensei say of “unnatural death” in Part I, Sensei and I?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe and analyze the character of Soseki’s father in the novel. From what degenerating ailment does Soseki’s father suffer? How does Soseki compare his relationship with his father to his relationship with Sensei?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the theme of “the second son” in Kokoro. Soseki, Sensei's uncle, and K are all second sons of their families. What sense of estrangement do each of these characters experience from their families as they struggle to find identities and career paths?

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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