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 does Christopher conclude happened to Charles Emory?

2. How does remembering the end of his relationship with Uncle Philip make Christopher feel?

3. In what year does Christopher hear of Jennifer?

4. What does Jennifer just barely avoid knocking over?

5. According to Chamberlain, what will happen to young Christopher if he remains in Shanghai much longer?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Christopher's residence in 1937.

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

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

4. What is significant about the disappearance of Jennifer's trunk?

5. Where is Charles Emery's body found?

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

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

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

9. What happens to Christopher and Sarah at David Corbett's luncheon on Lower Regent Street?

10. How does Christopher feel about Akira the summer prior to his friend's leaving for school in Nagasaki?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Discuss the role of memory in the novel. What does Christopher say about his own memory? How does what Christopher remembers develop his character?

(see the answer keys)

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