The Book of Laughter and Forgetting Test | Final 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. Where does Tamina work?

2. What is graphomania?

3. Why does Hugo take Tamina to the zoo?

4. What does Tamina ask Bibi to get at Tamina's stepmother's house?

5. What does Kristyna ask the student to get her?

Short Essay Questions

1. To what do Kristyna and the student agree and what is the outcome? What does the student's evaluation of Kristyna tell the reader?

2. What character's life is again addressed in part 6 and how is her life dismissed in a sense?

3. What is the relationship of litost to romantic love in general and specifically in relation to Kristyna and the student?

4. What does Kundera do at the opening to Part VI: The Angels?

5. Where does the student go the day before Kristyna arrives and how does this affect the interaction between Kristyna and the student?

6. Explain who Tamina is and the significance of how Kundera describes her.

7. How is Tamina's eventual suicide symbolic?

8. What happens to permanently silence Tamina?

9. What is ironic about the student deceiving Kristyna and attending the Writer's Club meeting?

10. How are the Czechs and litost related in Kundera's opinion?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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")

Essay Topic 2

THE BOOK OF LAUGHTER AND FORGETTING could be considered a collection of short stories related thematically. Discuss one of the following:

1. Discuss the theme of laughter as it occurs in three of the parts. Analyze the theme and create a thesis about laughter with which you think Kundera would agree.

2. There is a saying, "Laughter is the Best Medicine." Agree or disagree with this statement as far as this book is concerned.

3. Discuss for which of the characters laughter is important and why. Give specific examples.

Essay Topic 3

Much of this book, which could also be considered a collection of short stories related thematically, hinges upon knowledge of the political milieu of Czechoslovakia from 1948 through the early 1970's. Discuss one of the following (These topics will require research):

1. Briefly summarize the political, social and cultural climate of Czechoslovakia in 1948 when the book opens. How is what you have learned about Czechoslovakia of that era relevant to Kundera's book?

2. Briefly summarize the political, social and cultural climate of Czechoslovakia of 1968 when the invasion by Russia of Czechoslovakia takes place. How is what you have learned about Czechoslovakia of that era relevant to Kundera's book?

3. Discuss the ways the setting informs two major themes in the book. Use detailed examples.

(see the answer keys)

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