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 describes Sensei’s attitude as what, prior to their meeting in Part I: Sensei and I?

2. When the narrator first goes to see Sensei in Tokyo, it is how long since lectures have started at the university in Part I: Sensei and I?

3. What does Sensei say “is the loneliest time of all” in Part I: Sensei and I?

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

5. The narrator says of Sensei in Part I: Sensei and I, “Before he could destroy his wife’s happiness, he” did what?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What does Sensei reveal about greed and betrayal in his past at the tree nursery in Part I, Sensei and I?

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

5. Describe Sensei’s demeanor toward Soseki upon their meeting. Does Sensei welcome Soseki’s company?

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

8. What makes Sensei stand out to the narrator when he first sees him? Why does he seek Sensei’s company?

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

10. Why does the narrator return home in Part I, Sensei and I? How does he depict his first days there?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Describe the setting of Kamakura, Japan. How far is Kamakura from Tokyo? When did the Meiji restoration take place and how did it affect Kamakura? What imagery does the narrator use to describe the beach at Kamakura? How populated is this tourist destination?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the style and language of the novel. How does the language of Kokoro contribute to the tone of the narrative? What differences can be seen in the ways that Soseki and Sensei communicate verbally?

(see the answer keys)

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