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 does "Obasan" mean in Japanese?

2. What is the name of the boy that Naomi remembers playing hide-and-seek with as a child?

3. On what day does Aunt Emily write her first letter to Naomi's mother about the state of racism in Canada?

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

5. What is Naomi afraid may be hiding in the grass?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Naomi know about the people that made up her community in Slocan?

2. After Germany surrenders in the war, what changes about life in Slocan?

3. What does Naomi remember about the time she spent in Grandmother Kato's house growing up?

4. What was interesting about the marriage between Naomi's parents?

5. What happens to Grandmother Nakane after she begins to fall ill at Slocan?

6. What is the story of Momotaro?

7. What happened after Naomi's parents purchased her baby chicks?

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

9. What significant event happens in the Nakane family on the day of their relocation, and how does Naomi respond?

10. What improvements does Uncle make during the time that he spends in Slocan?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Naomi has a very strenuous relationship with her mother throughout the course of the novel. Create a timeline of Naomi's life in regards to her relationship with her mother. At what times did Naomi feel closest to her mother? At what times did she seem furthest away? What triggers were in place to prompt the changes that Naomi felt toward her mother?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Silence is a revered characteristic in Japanese culture. Explain the significance of silence to the characters in the novel, and explain the effect that silence has on an individual character level within the novel, as well as a cultural level in the era that this novel is set.

(see the answer keys)

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