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 unmarried daughters did Robin's Aunt Veronica have?

2. Who did the District Commissioner appoint as village "chief"?

3. Where was Twinkle found?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How did Elspeth use the imagery of the kitchen beaters to convey the sense that Europeans and Africans were living in parallel worlds?

4. Why did Lettice elope with Hereward?

5. How did the other Europeans and the Kikuyu feel about the Italian priests at the mission?

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Elspeth Huxley pointed out that the Kikuyu language did not have any words for "thank you" and that the Europeans therefore often accused them of ingratitude. Why did the Kikuyu lack the words to express gratitude? Were they truly lacking in gratitude? How important are words in expressing thanks? Did they seem to display gratitude toward one another? Was Elspeth perhaps right when she said the natives simply viewed the Europeans as different and therefore, not in need of thanks?

Essay Topic 3

Settler Alec Wilson was determined to learn everything about farming in Africa through textbooks and governmental reports. Elspeth, on the other hand, was for the most part avoiding book learning and creating her own African education through activities and exploration. Write an essay comparing and contrasting these styles of "education." Are there certain subjects that can best be learned through books? Are there others that can best be tackled through actually doing them? In what ways did Wilson's approach illustrate a European approach to education and in what ways did Elspeth's education reflect that of the African children, who did not attend schools? Would book-learning help Wilson in Africa and would hands-on learning help Elspeth once she went back to England?

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