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 kind of dogs did the Palmers bring to Africa?

2. What crop did Stilbeck insist would be easy to grow on the farm?

3. What did Elspeth receive as a gift at the New Year's party?

4. What instrument were the Palmers bringing to Africa?

5. Why were the Orams leaving Ruiri?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What was Mrs. Crawford's opinion of vegetarianism?

3. How did the Kikuyu and Masai differ in their approaches to hunting?

4. How did the adults try to comfort Elspeth when she could not go on the safari, and did it work?

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

6. Describe Mrs. (Humphrey) Crawford's personality.

7. Why was Tilly so overwhelmed by Africa in the first few weeks in Thika?

8. What did Tilly think was the ultimate reason for the Europeans to be in Africa?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Pioneer Mary was known as a wild woman who in many ways behaved more like a man in Africa. She was both feared and respected by both Europeans and Africans. How was her personality shaped by her personal family tragedy (the loss of both her husband and two young children)? In what ways did her personality allow her to survive and thrive in an environment that could be hostile to a European, especially a woman in that day and age? Did her wildness contribute to her ability to thrive? How did she differ from most of the women around her? Was she happier than the others?

Essay Topic 2

Despite his lack of success in a number of endeavors, Robin Huxley continued dreaming of fortune and moved his family to Africa in his latest attempt. At one point, Robin and Tilly have an interesting exchange about other settlers, debating whether they are romantics or fools. Based on Robin's behavior, which category did he belong in? Were his dreams realistic or was he pursuing a pipe dream? Is there in fact a big difference between a romantic and a fool?

Essay Topic 3

While riding to Londiani, Dirk told Elspeth a detailed story about the arduous trek taken by his Boer family to their new home. Write an essay describing how these experiences influenced Dirk's behavior as an adult. Was his upbringing in a self-sufficient environment a factor in his willing abandonment of Elspeth? Was he bitter toward the English? Did he seem to have any regard for the natives? How did Dirk compare to the other Dutchman encountered in the book, Mr. Roos?

(see the answer keys)

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