The Samurai's Garden Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Gail Tsukiyama
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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. What are described as the symptoms of the illness which affects Stephen's family?

2. What does Sachi tell Stephen when she learns that Matsu was unaware of this visit?

3. What does Stephen notice a lack of in Tarumi?

4. What does Stephen tell his mother about his father's affair?

5. How does Stephen get to Kobe?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is the painting of the garden of importance to Stephen?

2. How does the storm impact Stephen's relationship with Sachi and Matsu?

3. Describe Yamaguchi.

4. How does Stephen react to the news in his mother's November,1937 letter?

5. Compare Matsu and Tomoko as teenagers.

6. How does Matsu feel about his sister's decision to deal with her disease?

7. Describe Sachi's garden.

8. What does Stephen describe as his memories of Keiko?

9. Describe the events that lead to Stephen's trip to Tarumi.

10. What is the tone of Keiko's meeting with Stephen at the shrine?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Stephen sees Matsu as both a friend and a father figure at a time when he is losing respect for his own father. Compare and contrast Matsu and Stephen's father. How would the story be different if Stephen's father's affair had not been a part of the story? Does the fallibility of Stephen's father have any positive consequences for the family?

Essay Topic 2

For each of the gifts listed below, explain who it was to and from, what the reason for the gift was and how it affected the giver or receiver.

1) Daruma doll

2) Yoken

3) Paint brushes

4) Lucky stones

5) Another of your choice

Essay Topic 3

One technique used frequently in this story is to go back in time to fill in the gaps of a character's life or an event. Unlike a flashback where a character recalls an event, characters in this book must tell Stephen their story, or even retell someone else's story.

1) Explain how the story of Michiko might change as Sachi retells it to Stephen.

2) Compare and contrast an event told first hand from Stephen with one told through a retelling.

3) Argue the benefits and drawbacks of the author's decision to use this method of storytelling.

(see the answer keys)

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