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. How long did Sammy stay at Fort Hall?

2. What instrument were the Palmers bringing to Africa?

3. What did the Kikuyu do if someone died inside a hut?

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

5. What color are Elspeth Huxley's eyes?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. Briefly describe Elspeth's education in Africa.

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

Lettice Palmer expressed fear about the potential for the Europeans' work in Africa to disappear without a trace, much as the ancient Africans' work had disappeared. Was it fair for the Europeans to say that the Africans had failed to put a permanent mark on the land? Are city and temple ruins necessary to prove that a great culture once existed? Why would the ancient African cultures failed to have left behind permanent physical proof of their achievements? Why is it more difficult to find out about ancient cultures when there is a lack of ruins? Do Africans and Europeans have a similar reverence for oral tradition and history?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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