Obasan 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. What part of a woman's dress is given to the mother on the train so that she can fashion a diaper for her baby?

2. Which generation of Japanese-Canadians are the Nisei?

3. Who does Naomi remember staring at her while she begged for help after witnessing the traumatic event with her animals?

4. As an adult, what does Naomi do for a living?

5. What traumatic incident does Naomi remember witnessing with the animals that she was raising?

Short Essay Questions

1. What evidence does Naomi find as an adult as to the welfare of her mother and grandmother after the war's end?

2. What are Sick Bays?

3. What does Naomi find particularly irritating about Mr. and Mrs. Barker when they come to visit?

4. What preparations are made for Uncle's arrival in Slocan, and how is he greeted?

5. How does Naomi cope with the truth of her mother's life and death?

6. What happens to Grandmother Nakane's body after the funeral?

7. How do Obasan and other women on the train react to the young mother's birth story?

8. What is the rest of the Nakane family's reaction to Aunt Emily's revolutionary thinking?

9. Why does Obasan awaken Naomi in the middle of the night and take her into the attic?

10. Who was Nomura-obasan, and how was Naomi asked to help her?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Memory proves to be the most powerful tool used to tell Naomi's story. Describe the ways that Kogawa uses memory to trigger plot in the novel, and discuss the various ways that memory is used to broaden the relationship that the reader feels toward Naomi as the novel progresses.

Essay Topic 2

The Nakane family spreads over three generations within the novel. Briefly characterize each of the three generations of the family, and describe their different relationships with their heritage, and their new home in Canada.

Essay Topic 3

Naomi has a very strained and complicated relationship with her Aunt Emily throughout the course of the novel. Compare / contrast the story of Emily's journey as it is presented in her journals with the story of Naomi that is presented to the reader. How are their journeys the same? How are they different? Explain why Naomi is much more like her Aunt Emily than she would like to admit. How does Emily's political struggle reflect Naomi's bi-cultural struggles?

(see the answer keys)

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