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 was Njombo saving up the goats for?

3. Where did the jiggas dig into the body?

4. Why were the Orams leaving Ruiri?

5. What was Elspeth eating in a "funny" way at Mrs. Nimmo's the day after the party?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Why was Robin having a difficult time with the oxen?

4. Briefly describe Elspeth's education in Africa.

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

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

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

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

9. What did the Masai consider the greatest glory of mankind?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Pioneer Mary was known as a wild woman who in many ways behaved more like a man in Africa. She was both feared and respected by both Europeans and Africans. How was her personality shaped by her personal family tragedy (the loss of both her husband and two young children)? In what ways did her personality allow her to survive and thrive in an environment that could be hostile to a European, especially a woman in that day and age? Did her wildness contribute to her ability to thrive? How did she differ from most of the women around her? Was she happier than the others?

Essay Topic 2

Early in the book, Robin Huxley had a confrontation with the locals over the way he wanted his family's house built. Why was Robin so determined to recreate an English-style house in Africa? Why were the Africans so opposed to some of Robin's ideas? In what ways would adopting the local customs make it easier to settle in to a new area? Is it always advisable, or even possible, to recreate a certain lifestyle in a foreign land? What are the benefits of adopting the local traditions? Do you think Robin and the other Europeans were concerned about losing their European identity if they adopted too many local customs?

Essay Topic 3

Elspeth Huxley at one point said that the natives never stole from one another, but did not seem to have any qualms about stealing from the Europeans. Why was this the case? What forces prompted the natives to avoid stealing from one another? How did they seem to view the Europeans and why would they be willing to steal from them? Did they view the Europeans as neighbors and fellow villagers or as something else entirely?

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