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. In "Major Pugachov's Last Battle," what did Major Pugachov tell a party boss he was preparing for?

2. What was a "kolymka"?

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

4. In "Quiet," what was concerning to the narrator about the tables in the camp dining room?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. What did Savelev do after finding Ivanovich hung himself?

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

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

10. What prosthetics were collected by the guards in "Prosthetic Appliances"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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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