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, in the narrator's language, meant "run off at the mouth"? ("Esperanto.")

2. What provided unexpected joy for the narrator in "The Lawyers' Plot"?

3. What sound did the narrator say was a symbol of the "mainland" for him? ("The Train.")

4. According to the narrator in "My First Tooth," why is writing something down the best thing to do?

5. What did the Diamond trucks and Studebakers haul along the roads in Kolyma? ("Land-Lease.")

Short Essay Questions

1. What was the narrator shocked by about the blade of the bulldozer? ("Land-Lease.")

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

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

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

5. How did the narrator describe Romanov in "The Lawyer's Plot"?

6. Why was Stukov contemptuous and delighted by the shifty-eyed man's admittance about his being an informant? ("Magic")

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

8. What happened at the end of "Esperanto" to the narrator"?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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

In "Quiet," an particular irony was set up. One of the camp administrators believed that "a man will eat and in gratitude work better for the state." In what circumstances did this statement prove to be false? In what circumstances did this statement prove to be true? What was the determining factor in the truth behind the statement?

(see the answer keys)

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