The Wind-up Bird Chronicle 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 chooses the pseudonyms Nutmeg and Cinnamon?

2. In a letter Toru receives in Chapter 11, who does Kumiko say she is having an affair with?

3. Who pulls the rope ladder up from the well in Chapter 9?

4. What does the shorter of the two men in Chapter 3 do while the protagonist watches?

5. How did May Kasahara cause her boyfriend's death?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the interchange Toru has with the woman on the bench in Chapter 2?

2. What information does Malt Kano provide Toru Okada in their first meeting in Chapter 3?

3. Why is a local tabloid so concerned with the the Miyawaki house in Chapter 7?

4. Describe Toru Okada's dream at the end of Chapter 16?

5. Describe the marital tiff the Okada's have as related in Chapter 9?

6. Why does Toru Okada stay in the well longer than he intended?

7. In the story of Chapter 13, why does the Russian commander choose not to kill Lieutenant Mamiya?

8. Why are the Okadas estranged from the Watayas?

9. Describe Toru Okada's dream in Chapter 2.

10. What strange event happens involving a bar folk singer in Chapter 7?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, beginning even with its title, is a novel that draws mystically from the animal world. Animals serve as harbingers and, to some extent, good-will ambassadors. Write an essay on the roles of three animals in the book. How is each animal introduced? What is its purpose, and how does this purpose become clear by the end of the novel? Does the appearance of this animal have positive or negative connotations?

Part 1) The ducks by May Kasahara's factory

Part 2) Toru's cat

Part 3) The Wind-Up Bird

Essay Topic 2

In The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami juxtaposes the fantastical with a sort of general malaise that permeates modern Japanese society. Write an essay about this general malaise, describing how it manifests itself in the business world, in politics, and in popular culture. How do both Toru Okada and May Kasahara choose to ignore this malaise? Do they drop out of society? Conclude by discussing how this portrait of Japan reflect the Lost Decade in which the novel is set.

Essay Topic 3

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a n example of magical realist literature. In it, the fantastical and the realistic intermingle without indication that this is strange in any way. Write an essay about this intermingling, using Toru Okada as a surrogate for the reader. What fantastical events does Toru experience, and how does he react to them? Is he shocked, or are they seamlessly integrated into the rest of his life? What function do these events serve in his day to day existence?

(see the answer keys)

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