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

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Final Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

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

Early in the book, Robin Huxley had a confrontation with the locals over the way he wanted his family's house built. Why was Robin so determined to recreate an English-style house in Africa? Why were the Africans so opposed to some of Robin's ideas? In what ways would adopting the local customs make it easier to settle in to a new area? Is it always advisable, or even possible, to recreate a certain lifestyle in a foreign land? What are the benefits of adopting the local traditions? Do you think Robin and the other Europeans were concerned about losing their European identity if they adopted too many local customs?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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