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. Who was given the nickname Bad Hat?

2. Why was Tilly upset about Roger Stilbeck's letter?

3. Why did Njombo object to the house plans for the Huxleys?

4. What did Elspeth say she wanted more than anything?

5. What had the missionaries and the Government convinced the Kikuyu to adopt?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Briefly describe Elspeth's education in Africa.

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

5. Describe the relationship the Kikuyu had with their surroundings.

6. What was Lettice Palmer's first reaction to the health conditions in Africa?

7. Why were the natives so eager to bring their children to Tilly?

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

9. Describe the personalities of Mr. and Mrs. Oram.

10. How did Elsepth Huxley describe the smell of Africa?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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