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. In principle, with whom does the narrator side?

2. In this story, Burma is a colony of what empire?

3. According to Burnham, who governs the manners and morals of a given era?

4. Why does the narrator eventually shoot the elephant?

5. Tolstoy wrote a biting criticism of what playwright's work?

Short Essay Questions

1. What flaws are shared by all of the examples of "bad English" that Orwell offers?

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

3. What are some of the books that Orwell names as "Good Bad Books", and what flaw do they share?

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

5. What is Orwell's overall intention, according to his statements at the end of Chapter 6?

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

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

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

9. What are some of Tolstoy's criticisms about Shakespeare?

10. How does Orwell define a "Good Bad Book" in Chapter 16?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 3

Discuss the character of the elephant. What does the elephant represent? What is Orwell's relationship with the elephant? How has the incident with the elephant affected Orwell? What relationship did the elephant have with the crowd? What is the overall significance of the elephant's character? Be sure to cite specific examples from the text to support your position.

(see the answer keys)

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