The Flame Trees of Thika: Memories of an African Childhood 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. What was Robin's primary goal in his travels?

2. What kind of chickens did Tilly bring from England?

3. How long did Sammy stay at Fort Hall?

4. What crop did Stilbeck insist would be easy to grow on the farm?

5. What did Robin agree to pay for the work?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did Huxley describe the Kikuyu attitude toward theft?

2. What were the Huxley's first impressions upon seeing the land that they had bought?

3. How did the differences between Mrs. Nimmo and Tilly come through in their first meeting?

4. Why did Mrs. Palmer tell Elspeth Huxley that she should get two of any animal she wished to keep as a pet?

5. What did the Masai consider the greatest glory of mankind?

6. How did Robin and Kupanya differ in their approach to negotiating the terms of a workers' contract?

7. What kind of person did Ian Crawford appear to be?

8. How did Juma view the local inhabitants outside of Nairobi?

9. Why was Tilly so overwhelmed by Africa in the first few weeks in Thika?

10. Why was Robin having a difficult time with the oxen?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The Huxleys encountered two "foreign" concepts in marriage during their stay in Africa--the notion of a "bride-price" paid to the prospective bride's family, and polygamy. Discuss how these two practices could have impacted the society in Thika. What would have been accomplished by Njombo paying a family for a bride? Why was he not allowed to marry her without sufficient goats to give? Did the woman appear to have any say in the matter? How did the multiple wives live? What were the European attitudes toward these practices?

Essay Topic 2

The European settlers met in the book all had different reasons for coming to Africa--some simply for adventure, some to make a fortune, some seemingly to escape a bad situation. What was the societal impact to the Africans of the Europeans' settlement? Did the settlers have a different impact on the local culture depending on their different reasons for being there? Or did their mere presence, regardless of motivation, have a profound effect on the locals? Is seeking adventure or fortune a legitimate reason to colonize another culture?

Essay Topic 3

Elspeth, despite her European heritage, sincerely believed that a charm would protect her duiker, Twinkle. In what ways did her belief illustrate how her upbringing was becoming essentially African? Why was she more open to the notion of protective charms than the adults around her? Was she doing a better job adapting to local traditions and belief-systems?

(see the answer keys)

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