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. Where were the needles of the dwarf cedar tree taken to?

2. What work gang was never worried about in regard to running away? ("Major Pugachov's Last Battle.")

3. What did the narrator always fail to do in time for dinner? ("Sententious.")

4. To what Shakespearean character was the taker of "meat" compared?

5. What did the narrator, in "Sententious," claim that each day brought?

Short Essay Questions

1. In the story "In The Night," how did Bagretsov cut his finger?

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

3. What decision did the men in "Dry Rations" make regarding their food?

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

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

6. What did the extra food give the sectarian the energy to do in "Quiet"?

7. Given that convicts were not allowed to see a thermometer, how did they know when temperatures reached 60 degrees below zero in "Carpenters"?

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

9. Who did Gloubev recognize in the hospital as he was recovering from his appendectomy? ("A Piece of Meat.")

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Magic seemed to be the only way that some men made it out of the camps of Kolyma alive. Discuss three examples throughout the text where "magic" seemed to be responsible for survival. (Think of how "magic" was depicted in the story "Magic" to help answer this question.)

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Many time throughout the collection of stories, Shalamov detailed the loss of human emotions. What human emotions were laborers in Kolyma able to keep? What human emotions did the men tend to lose forever? Why was this as it was?

(see the answer keys)

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