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 kind of dogs did the Palmers bring to Africa?

2. In the folktale, what resulted from the chameleon's failure to deliver God's message?

3. What did Robin initially try to use to "break the ice" with the natives?

4. Why was Alec Wilson in Africa?

5. What country did Mrs. Palmer like the best?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. What became of Tilly's initial attempt to "preserve an appearance of leisured elegance"?

8. How did Mrs. Palmer react to the condition of the man who was attacked and murdered on her property?

9. What did Lettice Palmer find most disturbing about Africa and what was she most concerned about for herself and fellow Europeans?

10. Briefly describe Elspeth's education in Africa.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Elspeth Huxley pointed out that the Kikuyu language did not have any words for "thank you" and that the Europeans therefore often accused them of ingratitude. Why did the Kikuyu lack the words to express gratitude? Were they truly lacking in gratitude? How important are words in expressing thanks? Did they seem to display gratitude toward one another? Was Elspeth perhaps right when she said the natives simply viewed the Europeans as different and therefore, not in need of thanks?

Essay Topic 2

There is a high-spirited debate between Hereward and Robin about the difference between a bribe and a tip. The Europeans were taught to reject bribery, while bribery was essential to running many African colonies. What are the essential differences between bribes and tips? Is it simply a matter of timing? Were the Europeans making it difficult for themselves by refusing bribes? Could they have made their lives easier by adopting the local customs and accepting the use of bribes instead of tips?

Essay Topic 3

While riding to Londiani, Dirk told Elspeth a detailed story about the arduous trek taken by his Boer family to their new home. Write an essay describing how these experiences influenced Dirk's behavior as an adult. Was his upbringing in a self-sufficient environment a factor in his willing abandonment of Elspeth? Was he bitter toward the English? Did he seem to have any regard for the natives? How did Dirk compare to the other Dutchman encountered in the book, Mr. Roos?

(see the answer keys)

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