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 is the protagonist of Chapter 3?

2. In a reminiscence in Chapter 9, why does Kumiko refuse to speak to Toru Okada for three days?

3. Where does Toru Okada find his necktie in Chapter 4?

4. Who eventually rescues Toru from the well?

5. What does Malta Kano assure Toru Okada that he will find at the end of their meeting?

Short Essay Questions

1. What financial decision does Toru Okada make at the beginning of Book 3?

2. How does May Kasahara describe her situation in Chapter 5?

3. What does the unnamed boy see in Chapter 3?

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

5. How does pain return to Creta Kano's life?

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

7. Describe Kumiko and Toru Okada's first date.

8. Why does Creta Kano become a prostitute?

9. Why is Lieutenant Mamiya uncomfortable with his mission with Yanamoto?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Perhaps the most central theme of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is the interconnectedness of humanity and the impossibility of escaping said interconnectedness. Write an essay about several characters' attempts to distance themselves from humanity and how they are pulled back:

Part 1) Why does Kumiko try to alienate herself from her family? How does she go about doing this, and how is she pulled back into the Wataya sphere? To what extent is Kumiko destroyed emotionally and existentially by her return to her family?

Part 2) Why does May Kasahara choose to leave Tokyo, and where does she go? Is this flight indicative of a desire to be separated from the society at large? Who is the only person with whom she maintains communication? How does she rediscover her interconnectedness with society?

Part 3) How is Toru Okada the definition of social alienation at the beginning of the novel? Who does he have in his life, and what does he do with his days? Write out the steps by which he leaves his house and accepts other into his life.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is replete with images of imperiled children such as young Nutmeg, Kumiko, and her sister, Cinnamon. Write an essay about the world of the novel as a place when the innocent are not safe, focusing on three wounded adults who are trying to escape childhood traumas. What trauma is each trying to escape? How does this fear lead each to make an equally destructive choice in adulthood? In conclusion, what is Murakami saying about the relationship between childhood and adulthood?

(see the answer keys)

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