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 would Elspeth receive if she passed the exam after the safari?

2. How many princes had been blinded by the Abyssinian emperor?

3. What word was used to describe a quarrel or discussion?

4. With whom did Elspeth stay during the safari?

5. What was Elspeth expected to memorize while the adults were on safari?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

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