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 Ian say the native beer tasted like?

2. What did Mr. Roos offer to show Elspeth?

3. What had the python eaten?

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

5. What color was Ian's Somali shawl?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Among the motivations for coming to Africa, mentioned by some of the settlers, was a desire to "bring civilization" to the locals. What exactly did they mean by that? Were they interested in bringing technologies and scientific advancements, or were they interested in more fundamental cultural changes (such as religion, government, etc.)? In what ways did the Africans benefit from some of the things brought by the Europeans? In what ways would their cultures have suffered irreversible damage? Were there things the Africans could have taught the Europeans had they been more open-minded? Is it ever possible to share advanced technologies with another culture without damaging that culture?

Essay Topic 3

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?

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