The Pillow Book of Sei Sh¯onagon, Translated [from the Japanese] and Edited by Ivan Morris Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

Sei Shōnagon
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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What tree did Shonagon say had a vulgar name?
(a) Pear tree.
(b) Chinese hawthorn.
(c) Oak.
(d) Cypress.

2. What plant did Shonagon think made an "uncommonly pretty" design on figured silk?
(a) Stonecrop.
(b) Wood-sorrel.
(c) Water-plantain.
(d) Sweet rush.

3. What did Shonagon think small children and babies should look like?
(a) Puppies.
(b) Willow trees.
(c) Tall.
(d) Plump.

4. In the section titled "Once When Her Majesty Was Residing" what did the ladies-in-waiting build in the garden?
(a) A flower bed.
(b) A snow mountain.
(c) A small building.
(d) A sculpture of a bird.

5. What did the bedraggled and injured dog do that convinced Shonagon he was Okinamaro?
(a) Wag his tail at the mention of his name.
(b) Bark at the cat.
(c) Place his head in Shonagon's lap.
(d) Shed a flood of tears.

Short Answer Questions

1. What gift did the Empress give the wet nurse who was leaving?

2. What did Shonagon say a well-bred young man should never do when visiting a woman of lower rank?

3. What instrument did His Majesty play?

4. Who did Shonagon say was splendid in spite of their low station?

5. What did the pictures hung for the Perpetual Readings depict?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why did Shonagon change her opinion of the blossom of the pear tree?

2. Why did Shonagon send her brother a piece of seaweed in reply to his letter?

3. Why was it depressing for someone to wear a white under-robe in the Eighth Month?

4. Why did Shonagon find it annoying when a man who was not more than an acquaintance came for a casual chat?

5. Why did the women laugh at the paintings on the sliding screen in Seiryo Palace?

6. Why did Shonagon and the other women often have to stay away from the Palace?

7. Why did dried hollyhock produce fond memories?

8. Why did Shonagon say that young herbs peeking through the snow were unexpected near the Palace?

9. Why did Shonagon offer a gardener a reward to see to it that the snow mountain did not melt until after the fifteenth of the First Month?

10. Why didn't Shonagon like the husbands of nurse-maids?

(see the answer keys)

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