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

Gail Tsukiyama
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 134 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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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. Why do Stephen and Matsu go to the shrine?

2. When does Stephen's father leave Tamuri after his second visit to see Stephen?

3. Why is Stephen embarrassed by his body?

4. Why does Stephen go to Tarumi?

5. Who does Keiko say is in the Japanese army?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Stephen's father reveal about Matsu's history?

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

3. How does the removal of Sachi's scarf indicate her growing closeness to Stephen?

4. What is Stephen's physical condition when he first arrives at the beach house in Tarumi?

5. What agreement do Stephen's parents seem to come to after his father's visit?

6. How did Tomoko's death bring Sachi and Matsu closer?

7. Describe Sachi's house during the New Year's celebration?

8. Describe Sachi's garden.

9. How do Stephen and Keiko's father interact when they meet in the village after Kenzo's burial?

10. Why does Stephen lie to his mother?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Sachi's kare sansui is, by definition, a dry garden. Although she has chosen to include the blue-purple flower, the garden is mainly made up of rocks that represent the ripples of water. Stephen calls it an illusion. It could also be called a dead garden.

1) Why do you think Sachi chose this type of a garden rather than one filled with life?

2) What does the later inclusions of the blue-purple flower represent?

3) Why does Sachi rearrange the stones frequently?

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

Nature is an important setting throughout Stephen's journal and journeys. Choose three separate natural locations or events and:

1) Explain what purpose they serve

2) Relate them to Stephen's growth as a character

3) Describe how the story would change without them

(see the answer keys)

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