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 did the Kikuyu do if someone died inside a hut?

2. What did the natives take after negotiating payment for work?

3. In what year was the Huxley family heading to Thika?

4. What did Crawford say was a sign of a made-up story?

5. What birds did Crawford and Elspeth observe doing a mating ritual?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happened to Njombo after he killed the man on the Palmer's property?

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

3. Why were the natives so fascinated by the lamp, but did not care about the gramophone?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

A discussion about the European versus African concept of the passage of time prompted Lettice Palmer to suggest that perhaps the Europeans were wrong to be attempting to change the African culture. This is one of the only times in the book that a European suggests that the Africans' culture should be left alone. Did the other Europeans share Lettice's view? Did they seem to think about the issue at all or were they more concerned about making their way in Africa, regardless of what happened to the natives? Did the Europeans acknowledge that a complex culture existed around them?

Essay Topic 2

Njombo was accused by Sammy of causing the death of his third wife and the maiming of his son. In response, Sammy places a curse on Njombo, which very nearly kills him. Write an essay explaining why a firm belief in the power of curses could actually lead to someone's death. Would Njombo had survived if the chief had not arranged for the curse to be lifted? How powerful is the human mind when it comes to health? Why were the Europeans determined to save Njombo by focusing on the curse rather than using Western medicine?

Essay Topic 3

Lettice Palmer appeared to change in personality following the death of Ian. Write an essay describing how his death affected her. Why did she tell Elspeth that Africa was a cruel place and that nobody cared? What did her future appear to be?

(see the answer keys)

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