Kolyma Tales Test | Final 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 month was it in the opening of "My First Tooth"?

2. What did the narrator state was worse than criminals who robbed him? ("Esperanto.")

3. Who reminded the narrator of "Esperanto"?

4. What equipment arrived from America and, therefore, convicts learned a new word?

5. At the end of "The Train," where did the narrator state that he was returning from?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why were the convicts unable to eat the horse meat in "Esperanto"?

3. What game did the lieutenant and the narrator play during "The Train"?

4. Why was Golubev called to Stukov's home in "Magic"?

5. What was written on the cell ceiling of the monastery basement? ("My First Tooth.")

6. What did convicts receive as payment for keeping their mouths shut about guards beating them? ("The Chief of Political Control.")

7. What did Shestakov offer the narrator as nourishment to aid in an upcoming escape attempt? ("Condensed Milk.")

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

9. Why did the narrator in "My First Tooth" state that it was easier to bear something after you write it down? ("My First Tooth.")

10. Why did Praga, in "Esperanto," hack his clothing to rags?

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

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 narrator in "My First Tooth" stated that "even if you can't get something published, it's easier to bear a thing if you write it down. Once you've done that, you can forget." Do you agree with the narrator's statement? Why?/Why not? What is healing about writing something down? How may it help?

(see the answer keys)

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