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 Sammy's ethnic mix?

2. How did Randall Smith spend his Sundays?

3. What birds did Crawford and Elspeth observe doing a mating ritual?

4. What ancient story did Crawford use as an example?

5. What did Elspeth call her pony?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. Describe the personality of Pioneer Mary.

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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