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. As a child what is Christopher's feeling about his ambition to become a great detective?

2. What does the health inspector from Morganbrook and Byatt urge Mrs. Banks to do?

3. At what age did Christopher and Akira begin playing on the mound in the garden?

4. What musical instrument does Uncle Philip encourage Christopher to go with him to see?

5. In chapter one Christopher remembers coming from Cambridge to London in the summer of which year?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Christopher's meeting with the silver-haired man.

2. Where is Christopher's father's study and what are the rules about it?

3. Describe the visit of the health inspector to Christopher's home in Shanghai.

4. How does Christopher receive his magnifying glass?

5. How does the Emery case wrap up?

6. How does Christopher spend his time in the summer of 1923?

7. How does Akira feel after stealing Ling Tien's lotion?

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

9. Describe two examples of what Christopher refers to as "someone disapproving him and only just managing to conceal it."

10. How is Christopher and Akira's friendship when Akira returns from Japan?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Who is Sir Cecil Medhurst? What does he represent to Christopher? How does his demise change the direction of Christopher Bank's future?

Essay Topic 2

Most of the novel takes place in London and Shanghai. Compare and contrast these settings. How does Ishiguro use this contrast to develop themes? What are they?

Essay Topic 3

Social distinctions play a prominent role in WHEN WE WERE ORPHANS. Discuss how Ishiguro uses social distinctions to advance the plot and to define relationships between characters. Use examples from Shanghai and Britain.

(see the answer keys)

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