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. Why do the children on Tamina's team begin to win games?

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

3. Why does Hugo take Tamina to the zoo?

4. What does Tamina find within herself?

5. What entices Kristyna?

Short Essay Questions

1. Discuss what graphomania is and how it is used in the context of this chapter.

2. Why do you think Kundera blurs historical moments?

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

4. How is Tamina's eventual suicide symbolic?

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

6. What does Tamina ask Bibi to get for her in Prague and why does Tamina make the request?

7. What is the meaning of the word litost?

8. What happens to permanently silence Tamina?

9. Who does Kristyna meet and what attracts her to this person?

10. Where does Tamina go with Raphael?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

In Part 4, the main character (as deemed by Kundera later in the novel) is introduced. She is one of the two or three fictionalized characters that Kundera assumes are born every second on earth. Discuss the following:

1. What do you think Kundera means by the statement above?

2. Do you think Kundera is advocating for or against writers and the characters they create? Explain fully.

3. If Tamina is a fictionalized character, do you think she is a symbol of some concept in Kundera's experiences? What do you think she represents? Explain fully.

4. Kundera thinks of Tamina as the main character. Why do you think he sees her as the main character? Of what--the book? A couple parts of the book?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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