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 creatures emerged after the rains?

2. What song did all of the settlers join in singing at the Palmers?

3. What did Elspeth sleep on?

4. To what kind of fish did Elspeth compare the men lounging in the shade in the middle of the day?

5. How many cattle did Sammy own?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Elspeth Huxley at one point said that the natives never stole from one another, but did not seem to have any qualms about stealing from the Europeans. Why was this the case? What forces prompted the natives to avoid stealing from one another? How did they seem to view the Europeans and why would they be willing to steal from them? Did they view the Europeans as neighbors and fellow villagers or as something else entirely?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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