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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 does Joncour do with the present given to him by the mistress?
2. Who gives Joncour his bath?
3. After Hara Kei's mistress dries off Joncour after his bath, what does she put in his hand?
4. Where is the party that Hara Kei holds and invites Joncour to on his third trip?
5. What kind of music does the piano player play at Madame Blanche's?
Short Essay Questions
1. After Joncour is given the note, he stops for a moment on his way out of town when leaving for home. Why does he stop? What is he doing? What is he thinking? What message is he trying to convey?
2. Why are the silkworms of Japan not affected by disease? What is their history of trade?
3. How much of the year does Joncour work? How much time does he have for leisure? Describe his work routine.
4. What is Madame Blanche's calling card? What does she give the men she sleeps with?
5. What happened when Jean Berbeck decided not to speak anymore? Why is this significant information in getting to know the character of Joncour?
6. How many silk eggs can you hold in your hands? Why did they refer to this as "a fortune in your hands"?
7. When the silkworm disease begins to spread in the early 1860s, Baldabiou observes that "nearly" all of the eggs are affected. What is he thinking? Where is he thinking of buying eggs?
8. When Baldabiou first broaches the idea of going to Japan for silk eggs, why do the local silk manufacturers not know anything about Japan?
9. 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?
10. What happens every time Hara Kei appears? Who leaves? Is this by design? Why do you think that?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
How, in the end, does Joncour live in peace? How does he find peace? When he discovers that Helene wrote the letters, what does he feel that he lost? Does this discovery take away his peace? How?
Essay Topic 2
How does Hara Kei forgive Joncour his rude behavior? He does it several times in the novel. Does he react the same way each time, or differently? Why does he endure Joncour's lack of knowledge about Japan?
Essay Topic 3
Describe the significance of silk and when and where it is used in the story to identify or describe a character. Think about the colorful litter, the silk tunic given to Helene by her husband and the silk kimono worn by Madame Blanche.
This section contains 1,016 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)