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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. When dis Koru and Kumiko Okada stop taking to Kumiko's parents?
2. Who is the protagonist of Chapter 3?
3. In Chapter 13, what memory of Yanamoto's death does in Lieutenant Mamiya say he will never forget?
4. In Chapter 7, what comes and goes from the "hanging house" with odd regularity?
5. In Chapter 12, Lieutenant Mamiya describes a secret mission he and Honda were a part of. What country did this mission illegally enter?
Short Essay Questions
1. In the story of Chapter 13, why does the Russian commander choose not to kill Lieutenant Mamiya?
2. Why does Toru Okada choose to go into the well behind the old Miyawaki house?
3. What painful admission does May Kasahara make in Chapter 15?
4. What does Noboru Wataya want to say to Toru Okada in Chapter 3?
5. What financial decision does Toru Okada make at the beginning of Book 3?
6. How does the infant Nutmeg nearly killed in the story of Chapter 9?
7. Describe Toru Okada's life at the beginning of the novel.
8. What does Toru Okada discover while shaving in Chapter 12?
9. What information does Malt Kano provide Toru Okada in their first meeting in Chapter 3?
10. What is the Clumsy Massacre of Chapter 9?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
Write an essay about Nutmeg and Cinnamon. What is their function within the novel? Begin the essay by discussing their lives before meeting Toru Okada and how Nutmeg comes to be fascinated with the protagonist. What about the mother and son makes them unusual and eccentric? In the final paragraph, discuss the possibility that Cinnamon is the author of the novel. What is on his computer that would lead a reader to this conclusion?
Essay Topic 2
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?
Essay Topic 3
The central antagonist of the novel is Noboru Wataya, a generally unpleasant but popular politician. Write an essay exploring the character arc of Noboru Wataya. How does he go from malcontent intellectual to beloved politician in such a short period? What is his opinion of Toru Okaka, and Toru's opinion of him? Describe the initial secret that Toru knows about Noboru and how this secret gives rise to a much large incrimination of Noboru Wataya. In the end, does Noboru get what he deserves?
This section contains 1,109 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)