The Flame Trees of Thika: Memories of an African Childhood Test | Lesson Plans Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. About how many miles a day could the oxen handle?

2. What items did Mrs. Palmer say would need their own stable?

3. What creatures did Crawford say were shy?

4. In what year was the Huxley family heading to Thika?

5. Where did the jiggas dig into the body?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How did the Palmer's house differ from the Huxley's residence?

4. In what ways did Elspeth find the siafu (warrior ants) the most frightening and mysterious of Africa's creatures?

5. How did Ian describe Ahmed's people (Somalis), whom he had lived among before coming to Africa?

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

7. What did Dirk's behavior in Londiani (where he abandoned Elspeth) suggest about his character?

8. Why did Elspeth believe that Lettice had changed when she seemed on the verge of teasing the little girl?

9. Describe the personality of Pioneer Mary.

10. How did the other Europeans and the Kikuyu feel about the Italian priests at the mission?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

In the early chapters, Robin Huxley attracted the attention of the natives with his burning lamp, which the fascinated locals assumed was magical. What is the difference between magic and science for people not exposed to advanced technologies? Did a belief in magic and spirits slow down the natives' development of their own technologies? Would it slow down their acceptance and adoption of other peoples' technologies? Do the people with advanced technologies retain any beliefs in magic or spirits or does technology suppress those beliefs?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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