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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 word do May's parents have to explain to her regarding the Miyawakis in Chapter 28?
2. Who does Nutmeg suspect is the source of the tabloid stories?
3. How does Toru get into Room 208 in Chapter 35?
4. Who pointedly ceases coming to the Residence in Chapter 29?
5. What has Noboru Wataya decided about his relationship with Kumiko by the end of the novel?
Short Essay Questions
1. What new offer does Ushikawa make to Toru Okada in Chapter 16?
2. What plan does Kumiko reveal in Chapter 17?
3. How does May Kasahar's worldview change in Chapter 36?
4. Describe Mamiya's assassination attempt on Boris in Chapter 32.
5. How did Nutmeg first discover her healing powers?
6. What questions about The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle does Toru have in Chapter 27?
7. What problem does Ushikawa admit with Kumiko's meeting Toru, and how does he solve it in Chapter 19?
8. What does Toru realize about his marriage to Kumiko in Chapter 34?
9. How does Toru overcome Noboru Wataya in Chapter 35?
10. How is Toru implicated in an assassination attempt in Chapter 33?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
Much of the important action of the novel, including the climax, occurs not in the real world, but in dreams and in a sort of metaphysical hotel. Write an essay about these events that occur in a sub- or supernatural world, focusing on three of them:
Part 1) When Creta Kano appears to Toru Okada, and the two have sex, how is this more than a mere erotic dream? Why does it affect both of them in their waking lives? In analyzing this sexual encounter, explain what Creta Kano's profession is, and how it relates. Why does she come to Toru's dream?
Part 2) Write a paragraph describing Toru Okada's first trip to the metaphysical hotel. What is he doing in the real, waking world that allows him entry? When Toru emerges, what has changed about him? Is this change emotional or physical?
Part 3) Describe the climax of the novel as it takes place in the hotel. What very real dangers does Toru Okada face and what achievement does he have in his conflict with Noboru Wataya? What does he understand by the end? How are his actions in the hotel reflected in his waking life?
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
Communication is a tricky and prevalent theme in the novel. Toru Okada is bombarded with new acquaintances in nearly every chapter of the novel, and they come top him in many different ways. Write an essay, outlining the different ways in which people make contact with the protagonist of the novel. How are the telephone, mail, dreams, and an early internet chat program all utilized? How does this menagerie of different forms of communication lead to ambiguity regarding how is communicating with whom?
This section contains 1,089 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)