The Book of Laughter and Forgetting 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 Marketa do for the Easter weekend?

2. Where does Kundera remember a number of historical events happening?

3. What does Mama forget?

4. Why does Mama get embarrassed?

5. How do Karel and Eva conspire?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens when Mirek arrives back home and how is this somewhat ironic?

2. Why do you think Marketa asks Eva to pretend she is Marketa's cousin?

3. What does this Kundera say about our collective past?

4. What is the difference between how Mama views memory versus how Karel and Marketa do?

5. What are Michelle and Gabrielle doing and what is their response?

6. Why do you think Kundera agrees to write an astrology column?

7. Where does Mirek stop and why is that problematic?

8. What is the meaning of laughter in part 3?

9. What do Kundera and other students do around 1948 and why? Do you think Kundera is speaking metaphorically or actuality.

10. What does Marketa contemplate doing with Eva near the end of the chapter?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The final chapter, "Borders," seems to suggest the idea of borders through repetition. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think this chapter is titled "Borders"?

2. Does the concept of borders appear in each chapter? Explain with examples.

3. Do you think there is a reason Kundera titles the last chapter "Borders" as opposed to any other chapter in the book? Explain fully.

4. How is the concept of borders related to that of repetition? Explain.

Essay Topic 2

In Part 3, "The Angels," laughter is discussed and analyzed at great length. Discuss the following:

1. Compare and contrast the different types of laughter discussed in Part III.

2. Which types of laughter could be labeled "good" or "uplifting"? Explain.

3. Which types of laughter could be labeled "bad" or "harmful"? Explain fully.

Essay Topic 3

This "novel" is more a text of ideas than action. Discuss one of the following ideas:

1. In part 6: "The Angels," Kundera writes that Hubl remarks that you can "liquidate its people" by erasing their memory of their previous culture. Discuss this idea in context of the book.

2. In part 6: "The Angels," Kundera blurs the historical moments of Clementis and Gottwald, Kafta and the President heretofore referred to as the Presdient of Forgetting, Svoboda. Discuss this blurring of historical moments in context of the book.

3. Discuss the idea that despite hundreds of thousands of lives being influenced and changed, the history of the world is easily forgotten. (From Part 1: "Lost Letters")

(see the answer keys)

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