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. On a how many day march were the men in "My First Tooth" on?

2. What was told, at the end of "The Lawyers' Plot", had happened to Rebrov?

3. What kind of underwear had the narrator not worn in years? ("The Train.")

4. How long had the bodies been in the mass grave? ("Land-Lease.")

5. What sun had burned the men's faces in "My First Tooth"?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. What about the Senior Supervisor-Ministry of Internal Affairs' name impressed the narrator in "The Lawyer's Plot"?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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