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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 is the name of the ship the immigrants eventually take to Panama?
2. What is the name of Maryna's personal assistant?
3. What book does the young woman from Philadelphia show Ryszard?
4. What people does Ryszard find to be the most polite people in New York?
5. At the celebration party, what language is being spoken by the guests?
Short Essay Questions
1. How does Maryna talk about the passenger who went overboard on the ship? Why does she talk so much about the incident? What are her speculations as to what happened? What are her feelings?
2. To whom does Maryna write in Chapter Four? Where is she as the letter begins? Where does she go during the course of the letter? Where is she at the end of the letter? Why does the author choose a letter narration in this chapter?
3. While finishing his article on the transatlantic journey, Ryszard goes to Caste Clinton to see how the steerage passengers are experiencing their introduction to their new home. What does he see there? Why is this important?
4. While he is in the steerage section of the ship, Ryszard is brought by a deckhand to meet a bedraggled man. This man offers his niece, Nora, to Ryszard. What kinds of emotions does Ryszard have while below the ship in steerage? How does this experience change him?
5. Why does Maryna go to Henryk's office in Chapter One? What do we learn about her brother Stefan? What do we learn about Maryna?
6. Maryna prepares for her departure from the stage. What engagements does she cancel, and what do the critics say about this? Why has she chosen Zakopane, and who has she asked to accompany her there?
7. In Chapter One, what scene does Maryna give Krystyna to act out? Why?
8. Who comes into Maryna's dressing room before the performance at the theatre in Krakow? What happens? How does Maryna react to the visitor's behavior?
9. In Chapter Four, Maryna explains that in some places, the oldest is best. However, in America she says "biggest is best." What does she mean by this? What does she see that supports her observation? Is she displeased by this?
10. What are some of the toasts given at the celebration dinner table? To whom are they directed? What is Bogdan's toast about? Maryna's?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
The story is told through many voices: the narrator, letters, soliloquies, conversations. The reader sees the main characters through many eyes and ears. Why has the author chosen this style to tell the story? Does it work? Is the reader able to get a well rounded view of the main characters? How else might have the author gone about telling this story?
Essay Topic 2
Why has the author chosen to tell about the demise of the commune through Bogdan's journal? How does he give an adequate account of what happened?
Essay Topic 3
How does Maryna treat the men in her life, including her son, Piotr? Does she take any of them seriously? What examples from the book support her love for the men in her life? How does this contrast with the way men treat her?
This section contains 1,300 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)