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 Fedya call Platonov in "The Snake Charmer"?

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

3. What article of the Criminal Code defined political prisoners?

4. What did the narrator, in "Sententious," claim was the first pity to return?

5. What did Andrei Platonov do prior to being in the camps?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why was the new chief of political control at the hospital? ("The Chief of Political Control.")

2. In "A Child's Drawing," why did the convicts stand in groups of five when guards were dividing out work assignments?

3. Why was the narrator afraid to get off of the train at any station other than the Moscow station? ("The Train.")

4. What happened to the Spam that was sent to the camps from America? ("Land-Lease.")

5. According to the narrator in "The Lawyer's Plot," what were the three ways out of the mine?

6. Where did the narrator hide his money during his train ride? ("The Train.")

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

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

9. How did the narrator come to remember the story "Esperanto"?

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

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

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?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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