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

2. How long does it take Christopher to unravel the mystery of Charles Emory's death?

3. What does Christopher's mother say when he rushes to the door?

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

5. What does Uncle Philip do every time Christopher visits his office?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Christopher's residence in 1937.

2. Describe Ling Tien.

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

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

5. What does Sarah tell Christopher about marriage?

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

7. Describe the game Christopher and Akira invent.

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

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

10. Describe an instance of Mr. Banks boasting.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Choose three examples of Christopher's perception of himself clashing with others' perception of him. What is the effect of this perception gap? Why do you think Ishiguro uses this device?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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