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. Why can the protagonist clearly see two figures in the night in Chapter 3?

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

3. Why does Toru's uncle suggest he look up Mr. Ichikawa in Chapter 12?

4. Who chooses the pseudonyms Nutmeg and Cinnamon?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Toru Okada's life at the beginning of the novel.

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

3. How does the infant Nutmeg nearly killed in the story of Chapter 9?

4. Why does Toru Okada choose to go into the well behind the old Miyawaki house?

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

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

7. What happens when Toru goes to the appointed address in Chapter 4?

8. Why are the Okadas estranged from the Watayas?

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

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

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

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a hodgepodge of different types of narrative forms, with some chapters wildly divergent from or seeming unrelated to, the central first-person narrative of Toru Okada. Write an essay about several chapters that are different from the main narrative. How do they connect to this central narrative? What story do they tell? Is there a particular theme that these other chapters serve to illuminate?

Part 1) The tabloid articles.

Part 2) The letters from the factory town.

Part 3) The third person chapters.

Essay Topic 3

Dreams play a key role in the advancing of plot in Murakami's novel. Write an essay, discussing the role that dreams play in Toru Okada's journey. Who does he meet while in a dream state? What new information does he gain from these dreams? Write a paragraph about each type of dream the Toru has over the course of the novel. As a conclusion, discuss whether the dream-world of the novel has any concrete bearing on the waking world.

(see the answer keys)

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