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 that he refused to listen to? ("Sententious.")

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

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

4. Who was denied hot food for refusing to give up his prosthetic arm?

5. 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?

Short Essay Questions

1. What "piece of meat" did Golubev offer up in sacrifice? ("A Piece of Meat.")

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

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

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

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

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

7. Why were camp officials perplexed by the convicts avoidance of the bathhouse?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

What impact does the fact that the text is written in first-person have on you as a reader? Why is a first-person narration important in these types of histories? What would be lost if the stories were complied as third-person narratives?

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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