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

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

3. What kind of chickens did Tilly bring from England?

4. How did Randall Smith spend his Sundays?

5. Why did Sammy question the wisdom of burying the murder victim?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. What were the Huxley's first impressions upon seeing the land that they had bought?

9. Describe the personality of Pioneer Mary.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Lettice Palmer appeared to change in personality following the death of Ian. Write an essay describing how his death affected her. Why did she tell Elspeth that Africa was a cruel place and that nobody cared? What did her future appear to be?

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

There is a high-spirited debate between Hereward and Robin about the difference between a bribe and a tip. The Europeans were taught to reject bribery, while bribery was essential to running many African colonies. What are the essential differences between bribes and tips? Is it simply a matter of timing? Were the Europeans making it difficult for themselves by refusing bribes? Could they have made their lives easier by adopting the local customs and accepting the use of bribes instead of tips?

(see the answer keys)

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