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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 does Creta Kano cook for breakfast in Chapter 13?
2. What article of clothing does Toru Okada agree to wear to his meeting with Malta Cano in Chapter 3?
3. What does Toru decide he needs to purchase at the end of Chapter 1?
4. What object does Toru Okada discover in the well in Chapter 8?
5. What is the style of writing that Chapter 7 is supposed to be?
Short Essay Questions
1. What happens when Toru goes to the appointed address in Chapter 4?
2. What offer does Noboru Wataya make Toru Okada in Chapter 13?
3. How does Nutmeg's marriage end in Chapter 20?
4. That is Nutmeg's concern in Chapter 24?
5. What financial decision does Toru Okada make at the beginning of Book 3?
6. How did Nutmeg first discover her healing powers?
7. What information does Malt Kano provide Toru Okada in their first meeting in Chapter 3?
8. Why do Koru and Kumiko Okada meet with Mr. Honda?
9. Describe the interchange Toru has with the woman on the bench in Chapter 2?
10. What does Toru do after Nutmeg and Cinnamon stop coming to the residence?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
Kumiko Okada is one of the more enigmatic and yet dynamic characters in Murakimi's novel. She is decisive in her actions throughout but unclear, often, in her motivations. Write an essay about Kumiko's development is a character, focusing on three topics below:
Part 1) What is Kumiko's childhood like, including her relationships with both her brother and parents? What tragedy does Kumiko have to endure early in her life? How does it affect her family? Lastly, what does this childhood mean in terms of her adult life? What secrets must she bear?
Part 2) Why does Kumiko say that she chooses to leave Toru Okada? Write an essay analyzing why a simple act of infidelity spurs her to end her marriage entirely. What does Kumiko discover about herself that she did not know when she married Toru?
Part 3) What happens to Kumiko at the end of the novel, and how is this final turn of events connected both to her childhood and her decision to marry Toru? Conclude the essay by tracking Kumiko's motivation up to this point.
Essay Topic 2
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.
Essay Topic 3
Regularly throughout the novel, characters discover something deeply spiritual about themselves, brought about by their close proximity to death. Write an essay about three of these instances and their meaning in the novel:
Part 1) Describe the harrowing experience Lieutenant Mamiya experiences in Mongolia. How is he affected by his day in the dry well before being rescued? What changed in his outlook of the world?
Part 2) At what point does Creta Kano, after years of constant and unremitting pain, achieve some type of relief? What does this transition have to do with a proximity to death? How is this change connected to her eventual, more ethereal profession?
Part 3) When does Toru Okada develop the blue-black mark on his face? What traumatic and somewhat dangerous occurrence does this follow? What new and spiritual powers does this mark seem to imbue Toru with?
This section contains 2,891 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)