Snow Falling on Cedars 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. Why did Kabuo's father bury the swords and other belongings in the strawberry field?

2. The defendant in this murder trial is

3. In the courtroom, the Japanese attendees sat

4. As Japanese Americans are being arrested, Ishmael blindly thinks

5. Hatsue ends her relationship with Ishmael by

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Hatsue ignore Ishmael at school?

2. Why would Horace Whaley even consider that someone of Japanese descent had hit Carl Heine in the head?

3. What has caused Ishmael Chambers to be so cynical?

4. Why does Kabuo's attorney, Nels, challenge him to a game of chess before they discuss the case?

5. Why was Ole Jurgensen unwilling to hand over the Miyamoto's seven acres to Kabuo?

6. Besides having to dissect dead bodies, why is Horace Whaley's job particularly difficult?

7. Explain the hysteria on San Piedro Island when the news of the Pearl Harbor attack is announced.

8. Why does Hatsue's mother tear up the letter she has written to Ishmael's parents?

9. What is the agreement made between Zenhichi Miyamoto and Carl Heine, Sr.?

10. Why is Ishmael forced to pretend he does not have feelings for Hatsue?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Guterman mentions that occasionally Canadian Indians came across the border to help with the strawberry harvest in the islands off of Washington. Research and write an expository essay about these temporary workers, and teach your reader everything you can about their lifestyle and their culture. This may take some library research. Find out the names of the tribes or bands -- choose one island if necessary, such as Bainbridge, and learn what you can about the history of Indian pickers and processors.

Essay Topic 2

Take a position and write an essay on the following: Is the U.S. government paying proper and sufficient attention to the psychological effects on soldiers returning from war? Support your answers with research and facts.

Essay Topic 3

Review Snow Falling on Cedars with an eye toward symbolism. Guterson masterfully plants words and ideas that transport the reader along through the story, and allow us to look back and understand the symbolism that we may have missed as the story unfolds. Focus on one character, such as Hatsue, and analyze each symbolic passage Guterson has created, explaining why he did it and what it means. An example: Note Hatsue's "knife-sharp" pleats and "long darts."

(see the answer keys)

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