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 mountain spring did the narrator and his three companions reach at the beginning of "Dry Rations"?

2. How long had Merzlakov been in the camp (according to "Shock Therapy")?

3. What story did the men at the fire NOT want to hear Platonov tell? (The Snake Charmer.")

4. What was a "kolymka"?

5. In "Shock Therapy," what was described as Merzlakov's former profession?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why did the convicts that had been in the camps take their bread back to their barracks? ("Major Pugachov's Last Battle")

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

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

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

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

6. What did the narrator say about death in "Sententious"?

7. Why was the Siberian dwarf cedar called a "weatherman" by the narrator?

8. What notations did the guards, described in "Prosthetic Appliances", use to show that a convict would not receive hot food and/or bread?

9. What materials were needed to make the playing cards that the men in "On Tick" used?

10. Why did Garkunov die at the end of "On Tick"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In "A Piece of Meat," the narrator stated that "the rudimentary organ turned out not to be rudimentary at all, but essential, functioning, life-saving." Find, and discuss, three examples where a rudimentary object turned out to be "essential, functioning and life-saving."

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

Given the dehumanizing circumstances that the narrator relayed throughout the text, many instances of true humanity shone through. Discuss three examples where humanity won out over animalistic behavior in the text.

(see the answer keys)

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