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. Whom does Christopher glimpse while enjoying tea and scones at the Waldorf Hotel?

2. Where do the guests go after the meal and the speech at the Meredith Foundation dinner?

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

4. How does Christopher remember Uncle Philip's office?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. When Christopher finally sees Akira after Mr. Banks disappearance, how does Akira behave?

2. How does the Emery case wrap up?

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

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

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

6. How does Sarah Hemmings treat Christopher at the Mayfair flat?

7. Describe two examples of what Christopher refers to as "someone disapproving him and only just managing to conceal it."

8. What does Sarah tell Christopher about marriage?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Kazuo Ishiguro is very specific about dates and years In WHEN WE WERE ORPHANS. Why is specificity of time crucial to the story? What does it reveal about the narrator? How does it affect the reader? How does this specificity contrast with Christopher's highly subjective memories of his past?

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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