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 the narrator's profession?

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

3. What is the crowd's reaction to the prisoner's chant?

4. Orwell feels that Swift, through "Gulliver's Travels", is attacking what sort of government structure?

5. The fourth speaker, in Chapter 8, defended the purges in what country?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What scene does Orwell describe as the setting for reading a good murder mystery?

4. What happens after the prisoner's death?

5. How has Orwell's situation been reversed in Chapter 3?

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

7. According to Orwell, why is spring not a popular subject among his readers?

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

9. Orwell wonders if entering the world of politics had what effect on Gandhi?

10. According to Orwell, why don't people read?

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

Burnham makes several inaccurate political predictions, and Orwell accuses him of power-worship. On what does Burnham base his predictions?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the character of the prisoner in Chapter 2. How does Orwell describe the prisoner? How do you think Orwell feels about the prisoner? What do you think his crime might have been? What is the significance of the officials' merrymaking so close to the site of the prisoner's death? What point is Orwell trying to make with this essay? Be sure to cite specific examples from the text to support your position.

(see the answer keys)

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