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. During the time that Kabuo is in jail

2. Hatsue's mother is upset and decides to

3. Ishmael believes his love for Hatsue is

4. Ishmael's job as a marine was that of

5. Over a period of four years, Ishmael and Hatsue met and spent time

Short Essay Questions

1. Ishmael's experience at war is as horrendous as it gets. What is his attitude toward Hatsue by now, and why?

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

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

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

5. Why does Hatsue ignore Ishmael at school?

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

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

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

9. Does the idea of a Japanese Strawberry Princess strike you as odd? Why were the princesses never Swedish or Norwegian or other nationalities?

10. What stops Ishmael and Hatsue from having sexual relations in the hollow tree?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Among so many other topics, Guterson touches on what it is like to have a physical deficit, such as Ishmael's missing arm. Write a persuasive argument about whether we, as a culture, provide sufficient conveniences for those with disabilities. Look up the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act), and determine whether the laws that govern public places have taken into account people like Ishmael Chambers, who is forced to do everything with one arm and hand.

Essay Topic 2

At one point in this story, Ishmael feels a certain strange fondness for his memories of the very worst moments of his life, as well as for the sense of chaos around him. This phenomenon has surfaced from other soldiers who have been at the front lines of battle. At the library, look find the book entitled "The World Within War" by Gerald Linderman. In Chapter 6, Linderman describes what may seem barbaric to some, but what may be familiar to some shell-shocked soldiers -- a certain delight in destruction. Read this chapter and compare with Guterman's description of Ishmael Chambers in Chapter 30 of "Snow Falling on Cedars." Teach your readers about this rather astonishing concept.

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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