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. Why does Christopher become irritated with Chamberlain at the Dorchester?

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

3. What is the date of Part III?

4. According to Akira, why do Christopher's parents stop speaking to one another?

5. While pondering a case in Kensington Gardens, Christopher runs in to which character?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How is Christopher's relationship with Mei Li transformed by his mother's abduction?

3. What does Sarah tell Christopher about marriage?

4. Describe Christopher's residence in 1937.

5. Describe Ling Tien.

6. Describe an instance of Mr. Banks boasting.

7. What does Akira believe about Ling Tien?

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

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

10. Describe the game Christopher and Akira invent.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What role does detection play in WHEN WE WERE ORPHANS? What inherent qualities in Christopher's character do you think lead him to this career choice? How do his family circumstances shape him as a detective?

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

What role does the advent of World War II play in the novel? How does the shape of world events parallel events in Christopher's life?

(see the answer keys)

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