Shooting an Elephant 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. Burnham was influenced by what political writer?

2. What book does Orwell quote to support his argument against Satyagraha?

3. How is the Burmese jail described?

4. How were the nurses in the hospital described?

5. Where do the magistrates and police convene after the prisoner's death?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Orwell describe the book reviewer in Chapter 14?

2. What event in "Gulliver's Travels", according to Orwell, showed a link between Swift and his character, Gulliver?

3. Why did Orwell kill the elephant against his will?

4. What is Tolstoy's main target in his Shakespearean criticisms, and why?

5. In what manner does Orwell leave Hopital X?

6. What is Orwell's problem with the use of words like "romantic" or "vitality"?

7. How are sporting events similar to combat, according to Orwell?

8. How does Burnham's theory about the "manners and morals" of a given era differ from Orwell's?

9. According to Orwell, what could the reader of "Gulliver's Travels" infer about Swift's political views?

10. How does the elephant die?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Orwell feels that good books should receive long reviews, while poorly-written books should be handled with reviews of only a few lines. How do you feel about his proposition? Have you ever gained useful information from a bad review? Have you ever thought that a good review was too long? Or do you agree that poorly-written books are undeserving of attention? Be sure to cite specific examples from the text to support your position.

Essay Topic 2

Orwell's essay about Gandhi is not flattering, but he grudgingly admits that Gandhi impresses him, in some ways. What does Orwell dislike most about Gandhi, and his practices? How does Orwell's opinion of Gandhi change, after reading his autobiography? How does Orwell feel about Gandhi's policy of "Satyagraha," and why? Be sure to cite specific examples from the text to support your position.

Essay Topic 3

Orwell defends freedom of the press by saying that freedom of the political writer, and freedom of the non-political writer go hand-in-hand. Do you agree? Is it possible to have freedom of speech without freedom of the press, or vice versa? How does Orwell feel about the current trend of literary freedom? Do you agree? Be sure to cite specific examples from the text to support your position.

(see the answer keys)

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