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 creature intervenes as the prisoner is being led to his execution?

2. According to Orwell, what is the basis for Burnham's political predictions?

3. How were the nurses in the hospital described?

4. Which play did Tolstoy criticize most harshly?

5. What crucial element of Shakespeare's works does Tolstoy fail to recognize, according to Orwell?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Orwell cites the riots after the 1936 Olympic Games as proof of what?

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

4. What treatments does Orwell undergo in Hopital X?

5. What is the substance of Burnham's "Managerial Revolution", as relayed by Orwell in Chapter 9?

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

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

8. What is the substance of the four speakers' speeches, as relayed by Orwell in Chapter 8?

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

10. What does Orwell say about the general trend of the English language?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

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

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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