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. What does litost mean?

2. What is Tamina not doing?

3. Who are two people Kundera blurs the historic moments of?

4. Where is the boat with the boy who rows?

5. How is Tamina's situation similar to her husband's when he was ill?

Short Essay Questions

1. How is Tamina's situation where Raphael takes her similar to her husband's situation just before he dies?

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

3. How is Tamina's eventual suicide symbolic?

4. Briefly describe a few of the most salient points about Tamina.

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

6. How is Kundera's father's attempt to understand Beethoven undertaken by Kundera?

7. What is the meaning of the word litost?

8. Why do you think Kundera blurs historical moments?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In Part 4, we learn that shortly after her husband's death, Tamina swallows a bottle of prescription pills and swims out into the sea. Rather than become sleepy and sink, she instead becomes revitalized and finds a treasured silence within her. She comes back to shore and continues to live. Discuss the following:

1. Is Tamina performing an act of forgetting or remembering by her suicide attempt?

2. What do you think is the silence Tamina finds within herself? Do you think it is a positive thing? Why or why not?

3. When Tamina comes back to shore and continues to live, what do you think is the quality of her life? Explain with details from the text.

Essay Topic 2

In Part 2, "Mama," when Marketa learns of Karel's next date with a mistress, both she and Karel are angry. Discuss the following:

1. Discuss why you think both Karel and Marketa are angry.

2. How strong can a relationship be if both feel the need to have sexual liaisons with someone else? Explain fully.

3. Do you think Marketa and Karel's relationship can be salvaged? Explain fully.

Essay Topic 3

In Part 2, "Mama," the collective past of Karel and Marketa tires them, bringing them to their present and future actions. They wish to erase their past and forget their history to create a new future. Choose one of the following to discuss:

1. How is Karel and Marketa's situation of their past history a metaphor for the history of Czechoslovakia?

2. Do you think erasing the past is the best way to create a different future? Explain fully.

3. Is it even possible to erase the past completely either as an individual, couple or country? Explain fully.

(see the answer keys)

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