The Master Puppeteer Test | Mid-Book 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. Who is Hanji?

2. How does Okada react to Jiro's request?

3. What is said about Yoshida?

4. What is happening when Jiro gets to the theater?

5. What does Kinshi steal to celebrate?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Jiro discover a Samurai sword?

2. Describe the latest theft Saburo pulls off.

3. How does Jiro arrange the meeting with Okada?

4. What does Okada tell Jiro and how does Jiro react?

5. What does Jiro hope about his father and what is the outcome?

6. Who posts the roles for the new play and what is Jiro's role?

7. Describe the conversation between Okada and Jiro.

8. How does Kinshi get out of his chores and what do the other boys do?

9. What part is Kinshi assigned in the new play and what does Jiro learn as they go to get puppets for Kinshi to practice?

10. What does Yoshida tell Jiro when Jiro presents himself to the man and how does Kinshi reassure Jiro?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

In this story, the gap between people's wealth and their social position is particularly large. This is because it is a time of famine, and the farmers are forced to give most of their food to the daimyos. The rice merchants have grown extremely rich while the farmers and other peasants are poor and starving. The samurai might be considered very important on the social scale, but Jiro tells us that even some of the samurai are starving on very small rice stipends. This has made people very angry and restless, as the lowliest and undeserving members of society, the merchants are getting rich and fat while those who should be more important starve. The famine has only made these feelings worse, and has caused the peasants of the city to become desperate.

1. Compare a day in the life of a peasant with a day in the life of a Lord in feudal Japan. Use examples from The Master Puppeteer to support your reasoning.

2. Do you think the rice merchants have an obligation to feed the masses? Why or why not? Use examples from The Master Puppeteer to support your reasoning.

3. What kinds of behaviors do you think desperate, starving people will display and how does starvation of the masses enter into many revolutions in countries? Use examples from The Master Puppeteer to support your reasoning.

Essay Topic 2

Many readers of fiction place themselves in the position of one character, wondering if they would do the same thing as that character. Discuss the following:

1. Do you think one of the values of literature is to serve as a reflection of oneself? Why or why not?

2. Socrates said "Know thyself." How can reading a book such as The Master Puppeteer help a reader to know him/herself? Do you find yourself reflecting on your own character and abilities when reading The Master Puppeteer? Why or why not.

3. Choose one specific incident in The Master Puppeteer to discuss and compare one of the characters' response to how you think you would respond.

Essay Topic 3

Many novels, and perhaps a majority, of novels ends on a happy note. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think many (most?) people want what they perceive as a happy or good ending to a novel? Explain your opinion. Do you? Why or why not?

2. What are three reasons to read fiction? Discuss each one in light of The Master Puppeteer and whether or not it fulfills all three, two or one of the reasons you mention. Give examples as to why The Master Puppeteer is or is not successful in fulfilling the reasons you discuss.

3. Do you think reading solely for entertainment is as good a reason to read as any other? Why or why not? Can any work of fiction or non-fiction, no matter how poorly written, enlighten, teach, stimulate thought? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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