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. Why did the priests refuse to help Njombo?

2. Where was Twinkle found?

3. What was the only common element in the different styles of traps built for leopards?

4. What does the word "kali" mean?

5. What did Lettice say Hugh suffered from while she was away?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why did the Kikuyu distrust hyenas?

3. Why did Hereward express a willingness to die in a violent storm?

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. Why were the villagers so concerned about the python near the village?

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 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?

Essay Topic 3

A discussion about the European versus African concept of the passage of time prompted Lettice Palmer to suggest that perhaps the Europeans were wrong to be attempting to change the African culture. This is one of the only times in the book that a European suggests that the Africans' culture should be left alone. Did the other Europeans share Lettice's view? Did they seem to think about the issue at all or were they more concerned about making their way in Africa, regardless of what happened to the natives? Did the Europeans acknowledge that a complex culture existed around them?

(see the answer keys)

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