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 Colonel Chamberlain's relationship to Christopher?

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

3. How old are Akira and Christopher when they finally enter Ling Tien's room?

4. What does Christopher remember about Uncle Philip on the day of the plump-faced man's visit?

5. How does Christopher describe the atmosphere at breakfast on the days of the campaign meetings.

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Who is the plump-faced man in Christopher's newspaper photograph?

3. Describe Christopher's reunion with Colonel Chamberlain.

4. What happens after Uncle Philip leaves Christopher?

5. Describe the game Christopher and Akira invent.

6. Describe the opium campaign meetings.

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

8. What does Akira say when Christopher asks if his parents sometime stop talking to each other?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Write an essay exploring the development of Christopher Banks. What is the reader led to believe about him at first? What things does Christopher say that encourage the reader to look at him differently? Is he a reliable narrator? How much more does the reader know about Christopher at the end of the novel?

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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