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. Which play did Tolstoy criticize most harshly?

2. According to Orwell, how does Gulliver change from part two to part three of "Gulliver's Travels"?

3. What has the elephant destroyed?

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

5. What does Burnham say about the Nazis?

Short Essay Questions

1. According to Orwell, what were Burnham's political predictions based on?

2. What treatments does Orwell undergo in Hopital X?

3. In what manner does Orwell leave Hopital X?

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

5. What are Orwell's criteria for a "perfect" murder?

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

7. What pamphlet was the subject of the meeting of the P.E.N. Club that takes place in Chapter 8?

8. According to the evidence Orwell presents from "Gulliver's Travels", how does Gulliver feel about science?

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

10. What does Orwell say about Gandhi's methods of non-violent protest?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Orwell attempts to refute the criticisms of people who don't believe that spring is something he should be writing about. Do you agree with the claims of his critics - that social injustice is a more important topic, and that people who work outdoors don't want to read about nature? Or do you agree with Orwell - that nature is just as important, and those who work outdoors have even more appreciation for nature? Provide evidence (not already provided by Orwell) to back up your opinion. Be sure to cite specific examples from the text to support your position.

Essay Topic 2

In Chapter 3, Orwell's status changes from oppressor, to victim. How does his stay in Hopital X change his status? Do you think that his stay at Hopital X would have given him a different attitude toward the Burmese, if he had gone back? Why? Why is his escape from Hopital X significant? Be sure to cite specific examples from the text in defending your conclusions.

Essay Topic 3

Orwell bemoans the lack of good contemporary murder literature. Do you agree that this situation is due to a lack of "perfect" murders? Do you think that, in the presence of more "perfect" murders, there would be more quality murder literature? Is this a desirable situation? Given media access to crime details and how they are printed much more so than in his life time, do you think Orwell's opinion may be different now? Be sure to cite specific examples from the text in defending your conclusions.

(see the answer keys)

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