When We Were Orphans 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. How does Christopher describe the atmosphere at breakfast on the days of the campaign meetings.

2. What does Mrs. Banks tell Christopher to reassure him?

3. What areas of Shanghai is young Christopher forbidden to enter?

4. Who causes Christopher to lower his guard?

5. What kind of person is the Banks's typical house guest in Shanghai?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Christopher feel about Akira the summer prior to his friend's leaving for school in Nagasaki?

2. How does Christopher receive his magnifying glass?

3. Why does Christopher consider inviting Chamberlain to the Dorchester "the height of inconsideration?"

4. What does Christopher remember about the days following his father's disappearance?

5. Describe Christopher's residence in 1937.

6. How does Sarah Hemmings treat Christopher at the Mayfair flat?

7. Where is Charles Emery's body found?

8. How does Uncle Philip set the stage for Christopher's mother's abduction?

9. Describe the opium campaign meetings.

10. What are Christopher's earliest encounters with Sarah like?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In chapter sixteen, Sarah urges Christopher to run away with her to Macao. What does Macao represent? Why is Macao particularly enticing to Christopher when Sarah asks him? On an emotional level, what prevents Christopher from making it there?

Essay Topic 2

By the end of the novel the reader has traveled with Christopher backwards and forwards in time and from Shanghai to London and back. Starting at the earliest point in time, describe Christopher's journey? Make sure your account has a beginning, middle and end. Having put the story in chronological order, do you understand anything new about the novel?

Essay Topic 3

Christopher's mother is one of the most prominent figures in his life both before and after her abduction. What qualities does Christopher inherit from his mother? How do these very qualities prevent him from giving up on finding her? How is Christopher's relationship with his mother transformed by her abduction? How is it transformed by her rescue?

(see the answer keys)

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