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 agree to pay for the work?

2. Who was given the nickname Bad Hat?

3. What instrument were the Palmers bringing to Africa?

4. What was Njombo saving up the goats for?

5. What natural phenomenon did Mrs. Palmer see in her travels to Scandinavia?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Briefly describe Elspeth's education in Africa.

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. Describe the personality of Pioneer Mary.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Despite his lack of success in a number of endeavors, Robin Huxley continued dreaming of fortune and moved his family to Africa in his latest attempt. At one point, Robin and Tilly have an interesting exchange about other settlers, debating whether they are romantics or fools. Based on Robin's behavior, which category did he belong in? Were his dreams realistic or was he pursuing a pipe dream? Is there in fact a big difference between a romantic and a fool?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

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