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. What is Orwell's problem with phrases like "swan song"?

2. What did the name of Gandhi's political policy, "Satyagraha," mean?

3. What is the narrator's profession?

4. What is Orwell's reasoning for the shifts in Gulliver's character?

5. Tolstoy accuses the playwright he is criticizing of having a philosophy similar to whom?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens as the prisoner is being led to his fate?

2. What factors are ruining literary freedom, according to Orwell?

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

4. According to Orwell, what is the reason for the dearth of good contemporary murder literature?

5. What type of children's literature does Orwell prefer?

6. What effect does Gandhi's autobiography have on Orwell?

7. Orwell feels that international sporting events have what effect on the relations between the countries involved?

8. How does the elephant die?

9. According to Orwell, what changes occur in the character of Gulliver, in each part of "Gulliver's Travels"?

10. What link does Orwell establish between freedom of the press, and other forms of liberty?

Essay 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

Discuss the character of the crowd. What are the main characteristics of the crowd? What is Orwell's relationship with the crowd? What does the crowd represent? What is the overall significance of the crowd's character? Be sure to cite specific examples from the text to support your position.

Essay Topic 3

Tolstoy criticizes Shakespeare in a variety of ways. Do you agree with any of Tolstoy's criticisms? If so, which ones? What do you think of Orwell's rebuttals for each point made by Tolstoy? Do you believe Tolstoy's claims about how Shakespeare got his reputation, or do you believe that his reputation was earned? How would you respond to the points Tolstoy makes about "King Lear"? Be sure to cite specific examples from the text to support your position.

(see the answer keys)

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