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. After the kiss on the beach, Ishmael finds himself

2. Ishmael wants very much to talk to

3. Kabuo Miyamoto's demeanor at his trial reveals

4. Ishmael's father prints instructions in his paper about

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Discuss the ironies of the war activities Ishmael was involved in when he was injured.

2. When the aging Ole finally sold his farm, to whom did he sell it?

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

4. This chapter is full of symbolism. What is the most sensual event that Guterson describes between Hatsue and Ishmael?

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

6. 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.

7. What was the convincing factor in Sheriff Moran's decision to get a search warrant for Kabuo's boat?

8. Although serious, this trial still has the feel of a small town affair. What are some reasons for that?

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

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

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 2

With illustrations and an essay, teach us about women's clothing in 1943, especially the clothing that would help us understand the knife-pleats and long darts of Hatsue Miyamoto's outfits that she wore to her husband's trial. Try to find old newspaper ads, and provide details as to fabrics and embellishments.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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