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. What kind of chickens did Tilly bring from England?

3. What animals did the Huxley family take with them to Africa?

4. What was Elspeth awakened by after going to bed during the party?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. Describe the personality of Pioneer Mary.

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

After Njombo killed a man in a fight, he had to pay a blood price to the victim's family in the form of goats. Write an essay discussing this method of justice. How did this system help keep the peace for the locals? How did the natives maintain peace and order (they were also known not to steal from one another) if there was no threat of arrest or prison? Why was Hereward Palmer determined to introduce Western-style justice to Africa? How would a trial and prison have affected both Njombo and the tribe as a whole? Can there be different cultural approaches to justice? Or is justice black and white?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

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