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 sectarian need his extra portion of food to do? ("Quiet.")

2. In "A Piece of Meat," how did Golubev always sleep?

3. What kind of bird did the narrator say was unafraid of people and could be shot easily? ("Sententious.")

4. What had Merzlakov received for breakfast on the morning that he compared humans to livestock?

5. Fedya Shapov had been a member of what league prior to becoming a prisoner?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did the story "Sententious" end?

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

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

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

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

6. What did the narrator in "A Pushover Job" and his companion do to full-fill their quota of pine needles?

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

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

9. In "The Bathhouse," why was lice a relative concept to most convicts?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

As detailed by the text, men were moved constantly and consistently in and out of different work houses. This change set up for many of the men to find themselves separated from human companionship. In what ways did the text show the breakdown of relationships based upon the experiences in Kolyma?

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

Many of the guards in the stories are described by their attitudes towards the camp convicts. Describe the different ways that guards were described, how these descriptions mandated how convicts felt about the guards, and how the convicts acted around different guards based upon their dispositions.

(see the answer keys)

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