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. Where does Stephen see the "nicest Christmas tree I ever had"?

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

3. What does Stephen expect to be his only solace in Tarumi?

4. What two people do Stephen and his father discuss shortly before his father's departure?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What implications are given that Matsu is becoming fond of Stephen?

2. What does Stephen think of Matsu when they initially meet?

3. Where is the Kerria plant found and what does it mean?

4. How does Sachi feel about Stephen's trip to Tokyo?

5. What conflicting accounts of the war does Stephen hear?

6. Why is the fishing knife of great importance to Matsu?

7. Compare Matsu and Tomoko as teenagers.

8. Describe Stephen's visit with his father.

9. How does Stephen describe Matsu's garden?

10. What does Stephen struggle with at the Shinto shrine and why?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Stephen is often forced to make choices about confronting situations or staying silent and keeping the peace. For each of the following occurrences, explain why Stephen made the choice he did, what values impacted his chosen course of action, and how it affected both him and others in the long run.

1) His father's affair.

2) Keiko's father.

3) Kenzo's attack on Sachi.

Essay Topic 2

Although Stephen has never met Tomoko, her presence is strongly felt. This is also true of Michiko. Compare and contrast the two characters and analyze their contribution to the story line.

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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