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 country did Mrs. Palmer like the best?

2. What eventually attracted the attention of the natives?

3. What are siafu?

4. What did the natives take after negotiating payment for work?

5. What was the name of the Irishwoman known for her fearlessness?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did Elspeth view the planned hunt versus the actual hunt?

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

3. Why did Mrs. Crawford believe that her brother-in-law, Ian, would never become a farmer?

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

5. What did the Kikuyu do to preserve memories of the dead?

6. How did Tilly and Lettice view their husbands' apparent excitement about the impending war?

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

8. How did the Kikuyu deal with the suffering of animals?

9. How did Alec Wilson and Robin Huxley differ in their approaches to new, potentially profitable projects?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 3

Elspeth Huxley described in detail the process of leaving Thika to return to England during the war. Write an essay describing the attitudes displayed by both the natives and the European settlers as the war descended. How were people on each side of the cultural divide affected by their experiences? How did the natives view the Huxley family?

(see the answer keys)

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