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. What is Christopher's memory of Akira's house?

2. What happens to Christopher's father the day after the lotion theft?

3. What is Christopher's response to Sarah's proposal that he take her to the Meredith Foundation dinner?

4. Where are Mr. Banks and Christopher when Mr. Banks brings up the time Christopher and his mother "burst in" on him?

5. What does Christopher discover when he returns home?

Short Essay Questions

1. What kinds of presents does Uncle Philip give Christopher when the boy comes to visit his office?

2. Describe Christopher's reunion with Colonel Chamberlain.

3. Describe Christopher's return to his childhood home.

4. What does Christopher remember about Uncle Philip on the day of Wang Ku's visit?

5. How does Christopher tend to remember his boyhood companion Akira?

6. Where is Charles Emery's body found?

7. How is Christopher put in a difficult position when Uncle Philip suggests a trip to the racecourse?

8. What does Uncle Philip offer Christopher at the end of their meeting?

9. What is Jennifer's proposal for herself and Christopher?

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

As a child Christopher revered the great Inspector Kung. As a grown man Christopher meets the Inspector and discovers he has become a disheveled old drunk. How is this a turning point for Christopher? How is Christopher's meeting with Kung a warning to him? How does it drive him forward?

Essay Topic 2

It is a mixed blessing when Christopher finds his mother and discovers what happened to his father. Why? What does Christopher gain? What is taken away? How is he transformed?

Essay Topic 3

WHEN WE WERE ORPHANS is written in first person. Why is this the most effective choice for Ishiguro's purposes? Discuss the impact of first person on character and story development.

(see the answer keys)

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