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. How did Randall Smith spend his Sundays?

3. Why was Alec Wilson in Africa?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What became of Tilly's initial attempt to "preserve an appearance of leisured elegance"?

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

3. Describe the personalities of Mr. and Mrs. Oram.

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. Briefly describe Elspeth's education in Africa.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

A discussion about the European versus African concept of the passage of time prompted Lettice Palmer to suggest that perhaps the Europeans were wrong to be attempting to change the African culture. This is one of the only times in the book that a European suggests that the Africans' culture should be left alone. Did the other Europeans share Lettice's view? Did they seem to think about the issue at all or were they more concerned about making their way in Africa, regardless of what happened to the natives? Did the Europeans acknowledge that a complex culture existed around them?

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 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?

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