The Flame Trees of Thika: Memories of an African Childhood Test | Final Test - Hard

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What did Kamau want the bwana to bring him from Nairobi?

2. What special item did Lettice Palmer provide for her two dogs?

3. What did Elspeth sleep on?

4. What finally convinced Kupanya to "lift the curse"?

5. To what kind of fish did Elspeth compare the men lounging in the shade in the middle of the day?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Elspeth, despite her European heritage, sincerely believed that a charm would protect her duiker, Twinkle. In what ways did her belief illustrate how her upbringing was becoming essentially African? Why was she more open to the notion of protective charms than the adults around her? Was she doing a better job adapting to local traditions and belief-systems?

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?

(see the answer keys)

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