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, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How many princes had been blinded by the Abyssinian emperor?

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

3. What was Robin told would make a good gift for the new couple?

4. What did mission-boys wear as a mark of their status?

5. What did Robin pretend to threaten to get Sammy to lift the curse?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why did the Kikuyu distrust hyenas?

3. Why were the other adults so upset at Mr. Roos for trapping the leopard?

4. Why were Tilly and Lettice suspicious of Mr. Roos' behavior toward Elspeth?

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

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

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

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

9. How did Lettice Palmer view Hereward's desperate attempts to impose discipline on his workers?

10. Why did the District Commissioner find it difficult to keep locals out of the prison?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The Huxleys encountered two "foreign" concepts in marriage during their stay in Africa--the notion of a "bride-price" paid to the prospective bride's family, and polygamy. Discuss how these two practices could have impacted the society in Thika. What would have been accomplished by Njombo paying a family for a bride? Why was he not allowed to marry her without sufficient goats to give? Did the woman appear to have any say in the matter? How did the multiple wives live? What were the European attitudes toward these practices?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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