Pachinko Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Min Jin Lee
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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. Why can Yoseb not leave his work when Noa tells him Isak is home in Book Two, Chapter 4?

2. What name do we learn Noa goes by at school in Book Two, Chapter 4?

3. What does Yoseb tell Isak about political groups in Book One, Chapter 13?

4. What does Coalman Jan say is Isak's religion in Book One, Chapter 3?

5. What does Sunja think when she first sees Hansu again in Book One, Chapter 6?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Kyunghee's dream she tells to Sunja in Book One, Chapter 15 and why can she not do it?

2. What does Sunja think about herself and her family when she realizes Hansu will not marry her in Book One, Chapter 6?

3. What worries does Yangjin confide to Isak as they walk in Book One, Chapter 7?

4. Why does Hansu tell Sunja she must leave Osaka in Book Two, Chapter 6? What does he tell her she must do?

5. What does the ajumma tell Sunja about a women's life and the man she will marry in Chapter Three?

6. What is the propaganda in the newspapers Yoseb reads in Book Two, Chapter 1?

7. From Book One, Chapter 8, what happens in the Book of Hosea in the Bible and why?

8. What does Isak think about when he realizes he is sick with tuberculosis at the end of Book One, Chapter 3?

9. What does Yoseb think of the Japanese war in China in Book Two, Chapter 3? How does the way he thinks about it connect with the larger philosophy of Korean people?

10. How do Hoonie's parents raise him in Book One, Chapter 1? Why do they not dote on him?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

When Noa writes the Baek family after finding out Hansu is his father, Yoseb thinks, "he could understand the boy's anger, but he wanted another chance to talk to him, to tell Noa that a man must learn to forgive---to know what is important, that to live without forgiveness was a ind of death with breathing and movement" (318-19).

Choose at least two examples of characters either asking for, or have already asked for, forgiveness. How do their choices to forgive or not to forgive affect their lives and mental outlooks? Who asks for forgiveness and why? For the person who is asked for forgiveness, why or why not do they choose to forgive? Compare these examples to examine how forgiveness is a theme in the novel.

Essay Topic 2

The theme of shame is prevalent throughout the novel Pachinko. When Sunja sleeps with Hansu, she brings shame upon herself and her family. Later in the novel, on the television show "Other Lands," a Japanese woman who has moved abroad says, "I have never been to Japan [...] but I hope wherever I am in life, I can be a good Japanese. I hope never to bring shame to my people" (419). Choose two characters and explore how shame shapes their lives. Where does this shame come from? What societal ideals or expectations hold up shame? Is it rational? How do characters find ways to absolve this pain?

Essay Topic 3

Do some research on the idea of "diaspora." Kim Changho returns to Korea because he longs to see his homeland. Noa eventually becomes a Japanese citizen and travels back to Korea. Meanwhile, the other members of the family are unable to get Japanese passports and can only have Korean passports, which are useless, and so they can not travel internationally or back to Korea. All of these events relate to longing for a homeland, diaspora, and the regulation of human bodies moving across geography. Use the concept of diaspora to focus on two characters in the novel and examine their connection to a homeland, their in-betweenness of identity and belonging, and how they navigate the policing of their bodies. How do they navigate heartache, pain, humiliation, and difficulties? Explain what diaspora is in relation to them.

(see the answer keys)

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