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 type of dance does Uncle perform when he appears in Naomi's dream?

3. Who does Father ask to care for the family possessions in the case that he will be sent to internment?

4. What ethnicity is the officer in Naomi's dream?

5. How old is Naomi in the last photo taken of her and her mother?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why do Mr. Barker and his second wife come to visit Obasan in her home?

2. Why have Naomi and Uncle Isamu traveled to the coulee in Granton?

3. How did Naomi's Uncle die?

4. How did Naomi react to the date that she went on with her student's widowed father?

5. What change is made in Naomi and Stephen's education after Uncle arrives to Slocan?

6. How is Grandmother Nakane's funeral described in the novel?

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

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

9. What reaction does Naomi have to the newspaper clippings and letters that she finds of Aunt Emily's?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Many of the men in Naomi's family had made their living on a boat and at sea. Explain the cultural and symbolic significance of water and boats throughout the text. What was taken away from the family when the government seized their boats?

Essay Topic 2

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 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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