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 Robin initially try to use to "break the ice" with the natives?

2. What was Njombo saving up the goats for?

3. How many acres of land did Robin buy from Roger Stilbeck?

4. How long was the journey from Nairobi to Thika?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. Describe the personality of Pioneer Mary.

9. How did Mrs. Nimmo react to the wild New Year's party?

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

In the early chapters, Robin Huxley attracted the attention of the natives with his burning lamp, which the fascinated locals assumed was magical. What is the difference between magic and science for people not exposed to advanced technologies? Did a belief in magic and spirits slow down the natives' development of their own technologies? Would it slow down their acceptance and adoption of other peoples' technologies? Do the people with advanced technologies retain any beliefs in magic or spirits or does technology suppress those beliefs?

Essay Topic 2

There are many interesting observations about men and women in the book. In various encounters, some of the natives are practically naked, which seems to offend the European men more than the European women. In addition, the African women often work much harder than their men and Ian said that African men were appalled at the level of freedom European women had. Write an essay outlining the different attitudes toward gender roles displayed by the Africans and the Europeans. Did either culture seem to have a better belief system? Did either side tolerate the others' beliefs? Was there room for compromise or were the two world-views too far apart to bridge?

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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