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 did Captain Palmer plan to build his house?

2. Where was the District Commissioner located?

3. What color are Elspeth Huxley's eyes?

4. What did most of the farmers do as the New Year came?

5. What kind of dogs did the Palmers bring to Africa?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. Why did Elspeth get upset at the end of Crawford's story about the whydah birds?

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

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

Elspeth, despite her European heritage, sincerely believed that a charm would protect her duiker, Twinkle. In what ways did her belief illustrate how her upbringing was becoming essentially African? Why was she more open to the notion of protective charms than the adults around her? Was she doing a better job adapting to local traditions and belief-systems?

(see the answer keys)

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