Kolyma Tales 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 did the narrator say was the only thing that a prisoner would wash if he were only allotted a spoonful of water to bathe?

2. What did the prisoners refuse to eat in the dining hall and take back to their barracks? ("Major Pugachov's Last Battle.")

3. At the beginning of "In The Night," what had just ended?

4. How did the narrator, in "Sententious," perceive the tent in which he slept?

5. What did the narrator claim was the last human emotion? ("Sententious.")

Short Essay Questions

1. How did Platonov, in "The Snake Charmer," die?

2. What hypothesis was tested in the story "Quiet"?

3. What plans did Bagretsov have for the underwear that he took off of the corpse?

4. Why did Platonov decide to tell the thieves a story? ("The Snake Charmer.")

5. Why did Merzlakov fake a back injury in "Shock Therapy"?

6. How did the story "Sententious" end?

7. In "Sententious," who did the narrator say that he envied?

8. What question did the new arrivals ask of the old convicts in "Major Pugachov's Last Battle"?

9. Why did the narrator state that love was the hardest emotion to return to convicts? ("Sententious.")

10. What happened to Grigoriev and Potashnikov after the foreman found out that they were not carpenters?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Based upon the text, what three things do you think that the forced-laborers in Kolyma needed to survive? Find three different needs and explain why they were necessary for survival in Kolyma.

Essay Topic 2

The ability to stay warm, for many, was the single line between life and death. Discuss at least three different examples that showed what men in Kolyma would do to get warm.

Essay Topic 3

The theme of survival was important in the text. Discuss the different aspects of survival as depicted throughout the text. What were the different aspects of survival? What did it mean to survive? Why were there different understandings of this term?

(see the answer keys)

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