Life Is Elsewhere Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. In looking at the Apollo statue, what does Maman hope?
(a) That the gods will treat her child favorably.
(b) That her son will resemble the god rather than his human father.
(c) That Apollo will protect her son from the world.
(d) That her son will inherit the god's divine attributes.

2. What does Jaromil draw during his first lesson in the artist's studio?
(a) Lines.
(b) Human faces.
(c) Humans with dogs' heads.
(d) Circles.

3. According to the poet's father, where was the poet conceived?
(a) In the apartment of his colleague.
(b) In the countryside near Prague.
(c) In the mother's apartment.
(d) On a park bench.

4. Why is 1949 an interesting year for Czech youth?
(a) They have no idea how to implement their ideas for the future.
(b) Their jubilance is both voluntary and mandatory.
(c) They have destroyed the past but have no future.
(d) Their Marxist ideas are taking hold more quickly than they ever expected.

5. Why does Maman push away her husband's hand when he wants to make love?
(a) She wants him to apologize for humiliating her.
(b) She knows that she no longer loves him.
(c) She suspects that he was cheating.
(d) She wants to punish him for humiliating her.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why does Jaromil like the girl in the white coat who works at the store?

2. According to Kundera, what is "the first precondition of freedom" (Part III, Chapter 18, pg 121)?

3. According to Maman, where was the poet conceived?

4. How is the university girl different from any other girl Jaromil has known?

5. Who or what is the real source of Jaromil's poetic inspiration?

Short Essay Questions

1. When the Communists stage a coup, Jaromil and his uncle fight about the justice of the action. What does this fight reveal about Jaromil's place in the world, particularly in the political realm?

2. Maman and the engineer disagree about where Jaromil was conceived. Why is this an important debate?

3. What role do the twenty telephone receivers play in the story?

4. How are Jaromil's university experiences told in the novel? What message does this convey to the reader about the scope of the novel?

5. What is the point of the scene in which Xavier leads his military compatriots to battle? Why does he not get his wish for death?

6. Why does Xavier leave the woman behind at the end of Part 2?

7. After the death of Maman's husband, how does she change? Though Kundera does not make it overt, is this change for the better or for the worse?

8. "It was sad, but beautiful, too: for a moment, Jaromil lost the feeling of being a mere child" (Part 3, Chapter 25, pg 150). What causes this moment? Will it last?

9. "He [Jaromil] was searching for immensity. His life was hopeless, small, everything around him was flat, gray" (Part 3, Chapter 8, pg 104). How does Kundera's presentation of the novel prove this to be true?

10. How does Kundera describe Jaromil's nursing? How does this set the tone for the future relationship between mother and son?

(see the answer keys)

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