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. San Piedro's hills are green with

2. Nels opens up the possibility that the wound on Carl's head could have come from

3. Many Japanese workers sent money to Japan to buy

4. When Ishmael complains about the Japanese,

5. What does the red foam from Carl's mouth indicate?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why do the Japanese sit at the back of the courtroom in Amity Harbor?

2. Why would reporters from out of town be attending Miyamoto's trial?

3. In most of the anecdotes of snow-related catastrophes on the island, Guterson uses the opportunity to remind us of the folksy nature of this small-town community. Identify some of those instances.

4. Why were Japanese citizens being arrested in the US?

5. Describe Amity Harbor. Is it an upscale town? Does it seem inviting?

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

7. What kind of lawyer is Nels Gudmundsson?

8. Describe the situation between Hatsue and Ishmael after the Pearl Harbor attack.

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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."

Essay Topic 2

What did you learn about the legal system from this book, if anything? Guterson portrays the trial as fairly routine, with opening statements, examination and cross examination of witnesses, closing arguments, jury instructions and verdict. Look up the term "legal discovery" on the web, and determine how things have changed in our legal system since 1942. Is our system more efficient now? If so, in what ways? If not, in what ways? Are we more sophisticated in our legal process than before?

Essay Topic 3

Carl Heine's accident is one that the Coast Guard missed entirely. Research historical Coast Guard rescues, and summarize their stories. What is the biggest challenge for the Coast Guard, and how have they dealt with obstacles that confront them? Wrap up your essay with a critical review of the coast guard, and determine whether they are an important branch of the military or whether they are just a lookout crew.

(see the answer keys)

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