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. What animal did Elspeth worry would attack her pony, Twinkle?

2. What did Mr. Roos add to the trap to make it more effective?

3. What did the villagers do after Sammy's new wife died?

4. Why was Hereward embarrassed around the Kikuyu men?

5. Why did the priests refuse to help Njombo?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did the Palmer's house differ from the Huxley's residence?

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

3. How did the Europeans view the difference between a bribe and a tip?

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

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

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

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

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

9. How did Ian justify the brutality of the Abyssinian leaders he encountered before coming to Africa?

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

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

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

Njombo was accused by Sammy of causing the death of his third wife and the maiming of his son. In response, Sammy places a curse on Njombo, which very nearly kills him. Write an essay explaining why a firm belief in the power of curses could actually lead to someone's death. Would Njombo had survived if the chief had not arranged for the curse to be lifted? How powerful is the human mind when it comes to health? Why were the Europeans determined to save Njombo by focusing on the curse rather than using Western medicine?

(see the answer keys)

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