Nervous Conditions Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Tsitsi Dangarembga
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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. How does Tambu feel about the way Nyasha speaks to Maiguru?

2. After the formal welcoming speech, which of the following contraptions is Tambu too embarrassed to admit she cannot work?

3. Which of the following is NOT a tradition observed by Babamukuru's family at the dinner table?

4. Who rises from the dinner table to fetch whatever Babamukuru wishes during the meal?

5. What task is Tambu asked to do for the visiting relatives?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Nyasha find most strange about the white people who live at the mission?

2. How does Nhamo die?

3. How did Nhamo react to Babamukuru's home and how did his reaction affect Tambu when she arrives at the home?

4. Why are the young men at Babamukuru's dinner party unhappy?

5. How does Babamukuru propose to deal with the evil that has been following his family?

6. How does Nyasha react to the fact that she cannot find her D.H. Lawrence book?

7. What strategies does Tambu employ to keep her mind on her studies?

8. How does the family react to the news that Babamukuru has found Lucia a job?

9. How are the dresses for Ma'Shingayi's wedding purchased?

10. What happens to Nyasha when she is late to the dinner table on the evening before Tambu leaves for the Sacred Heart?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Tambu's family runs on a strict hierarchy. First, explain the hierarchy within Tambu's extended family -- who is on top? Who is on the bottom? Then explain how the hierarchy is expressed during the opening scenes in the novel, when Babamukuru first returns to the village. Then compare/contrast that to the way the hierarchy is expressed when Tambu returns to the village for the Christmas holidays. What has changed? What has stayed the same?

Essay Topic 2

At the start of the story, Dangarembga writes that this will be a story of "entrapment, escape, and rebellion." Do you agree with this assessment of the story? Why or why not? Give two examples of scenes that support Dangarembga's claim. Then give two examples of scenes that counteract this claim.

Essay Topic 3

Although many of the characters in the novel are black Africans, there are a few scenes in which the black characters interact with white characters. First, give examples of two scenes in which blacks and whites interact. Then describe the speech patterns of the white characters and compare/contrast that speech to the black characters. Based on their verbal interactions, how do the white characters regard the black characters?

(see the answer keys)

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