Something Like an Autobiography 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. Which of the following is not a daily appointment Kurosawa had to keep in childhood?

2. Why was Akira Kurosawa initially rejected for military service?

3. In Keika Middle School, what event did young Akira win at his school?

4. Where is young Akira in his earliest memory?

5. What was the source of explosions that intermittently went off in the wake of September 1, 1923's catastrophe?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Akira's relationship with Aunt Togashi.

2. Who is Mr. Tachikawa?

3. Describe the memory of the dog in Babyhood?

4. What embarrassments did young Akira experience at his father's hometown?

5. How did the earthquake provide an opportunity for violence in Tokyo?

6. How was Kuosawa's new art teacher different from Mr. Tachikawa?

7. How did young Akira put is Kendo into practice in self-defense?

8. In Whirlwind, what sort of decline did Akira's older brother have?

9. What was Kurosawa's experience at Morimura Gakuen?

10. What bad relationship did Akira develop at Keika Middle School?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the opening chapters of the book, Akira discusses the long days of school and activities he had as a pre-adolescent. Each of these extracurricular activities explains something about Akira's passions and attitudes toward the world. Write a three-part essay about these activities:

Part 1) How did Akira get involved in the kendo class? To what extent was his inclusion in the class something of a victory, one that refuted the assertion that he was a weakling? What other duties came with kendo? How did Akira eventually find his training put to good use?

Part 2) What was Akira's attitude toward his calligraphy lessons? Discuss why Akira's father was so insistent that his son take them. What about the calligraphy tutor was subpar or unhelpful, and how did the author deal with these classes? How did he eventually get out of them?

Part 3) Why was Mr. Tachikawa's house the last stop on Akira's itinerary every day? What was the significance of this visit, and why was it something that the author looked forward to all day? What function did Mr. Tachikawa serve in Akira's life?

Essay Topic 2

Akira Kurosawa's SOMETHING LIKE AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY deals with the author's transition from insecure child to confident - even egotistical - adult. Write an essay about three defining and transforming moments in this transition:

Part 1) Akira is a crybaby and a weakling when he enters Mr. Tachikawa's class. What talents and opportunities does Mr. Tachikawa's instruction open up to him? How does Mr. Tachikawa empower both Akira and Uekusa? How does the teacher remain a fixture in the author's life for decades following?

Part 2) What are Akira's faults and weaknesses when Mr. Iwamatsu becomes his teacher? How does Mr. Iwamatsu foster his desire to learn in the midst of a rebellious phase? How does the author's skills improve over the course of his time with this teacher?

Part 3) How does Kajiro Yamamoto prove pivotal to the author's development as an artist? What role does Akira play on Kajiro Yamamoto's sets? Discuss the film skills that Akira develops under this director and how Yamamoto continues to play a role in his life.

Essay Topic 3

Throughout the events of SOMETHING LIKE AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY, Akira Kurosawa is clearly a city boy. From time to time, he goes to the country, and the experience is always one of growth for him. Wirte an essay about these trips and how they help him grow into an adult. How does Kurosawa's first experience with sake at his father's childhood home turn out? Why does his father later send him to Toyokaya Village? What role does the country play in the films of Akira's early career?

(see the answer keys)

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