The Dark Child 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. Camara's mother displays what sort of attitude?

2. When is the douga sung?

3. Where does Camara wish he could be the night after he hears the story about the special snake?

4. What is the name of one particular apprentice Camara remembers?

5. Why is the snake which Camara finds special?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the friendship between Camara and his two friends, Kouyate and Check.

2. A few months after all the beatings at school, the director of the French school is forced to resign because of a petition signed by all the parents. What did Camara's father have to do with this?

3. Why does Camara's father always do the gold work himself, never leaving it to the apprentices or other workers?

4. Who or what is Konden Diara? What does Camara's father tell him to do?

5. Describe the character of Mamadou.

6. Following their encounter with Konden Diara, the young boys face the real test of circumcision. How does the ceremony in Kouroussa proceed?

7. What do the guests of the circumcision ceremony do to the teenage boys and how is this manifested to Camara? What is his reaction?

8. When Camara is a child, what are the sleeping arrangements for his family in Kouroussa?

9. Camara's mother has special powers. How is that manifested in chapter 5? What is her association to a horse?

10. One day, Camara finds a little black snake with a strikingly marked body. What is special about this snake?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

The character of the praise-singer is mentioned in a few chapters of the "The Dark Child." What is a praise-singer? What is his role towards the community? When is he important? Explore his presence throughout the book; describe his tasks, influence and attitude. Compare/contrast his appearances in the different chapters.

Essay Topic 2

When Camara is a child at school, some incidents occur that finally lead to the resignation of the director. This whole episode proves the great influence Camara's father has in his community. Explore the connection between the resignation of the director and the role of Camara's father plays. Explain how the violence at school starts innocently, then reaches a height and finally stops all together. What was Camara's father's involvement? Support your answers with examples from the book.

Essay Topic 3

In the African culture, rituals are important. Describe the preparatory ritual of Camara's father before he does gold work. What does this ritual involve? Why is this ritual important? Compare this ritual to other rituals Camara's father performs throughout "The Dark Child."

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