Silk Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

Alessandro Baricco
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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. How long does Joncour work with the eggs to prepare them for sale?
(a) Not at all.
(b) 2 months.
(c) 2 weeks.
(d) 7 days.

2. What happens in Japan after Joncour's second trip?
(a) The silk worms get disease.
(b) A civil war begins.
(c) The country is split into two distinct sides.
(d) The harbors are closed for good.

3. How far does Joncour travel for eggs on his first trip outside of Europe?
(a) 1500 miles.
(b) 1600 miles by sea and 800 miles over land.
(c) 3000 miles for 4 months.
(d) 500 miles to London, England.

4. After Hara Kei's mistress dries off Joncour after his bath, what does she put in his hand?
(a) A note with Japanese writing.
(b) A piece of silk.
(c) A silk egg.
(d) A small bird.

5. What does Joncour do with the present given to him by the mistress?
(a) He sends her away.
(b) He lets her bathe him.
(c) He makes love to her.
(d) He shares tea with her.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who gives Joncour his bath?

2. What did Baldabiou build next to the silk factory after arriving in town?

3. What did Baldabiou ask Joncour about when he returned from Egypt?

4. At the house of Hara Kei, what does he have caged near the entrance?

5. What did Baldabiou do with all of his secrets about silk?

Short Essay Questions

1. On his second trip to Japan, Joncour sits at the lake with Hara Kei and they are described as "Holding their peace." What do you think the author means by this? Where else have you heard this expression? Do you think there is a connection between a reference to a wedding and a mistress?

2. Why does Madame Blanche tell Joncour that the girl will not die without him? Is she trying to help him? What does she know that he does not?

3. How many silk eggs can you hold in your hands? Why did they refer to this as "a fortune in your hands"?

4. What is Madame Blanche's calling card? What does she give the men she sleeps with?

5. It is against the law to sell silk eggs in Japan. Why is it reasonable in the eyes of the silk manufacturers to break a law in Japan? Are they concerned for the welfare of Joncour? Why? Why not?

6. Describe how silk eggs hatch and what happens to them.

7. After his travels to Africa, how does Joncour describe his trip when someone asks? Why does he not give a better description?

8. Is Joncour really disinterested in what is happening in Japan as the novel progresses? Is he following the news? Does he care if he ever gets back? What is holding his interest in his leisure time?

9. Why does the young girl accompanying Hara Kei not have an Asian slant to her eyes? Does this give the reader a clue to her past? What?

10. What happens every time Hara Kei appears? Who leaves? Is this by design? Why do you think that?

(see the answer keys)

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