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. Who or what is the real source of Jaromil's poetic inspiration?
(a) The children's books his mother read.
(b) His talent.
(c) His grandpa.
(d) His father's influence.

2. What does Jaromil do when the redhead catches him staring through her apartment window?
(a) Knocks on her door.
(b) Brings her flowers.
(c) Keeps staring unabashedly.
(d) Runs away.

3. How does Maman shame Jaromil in front of her guests?
(a) Berates him for an untidy bedroom.
(b) Brushes the lint off his trousers.
(c) Asks if he's dating a common girl.
(d) Combs his hair.

4. What is Jaromil's criterion for a true poem?
(a) It must be able to stand apart from other poems.
(b) It must be read by someone other than the author.
(c) It must sound poetic when it is recited.
(d) It must have an established form.

5. During the Marxist debate which Jaromil attends, how does one person cause a distraction?
(a) Elbowing the girl next to him whenever the speaker makes a good point.
(b) Tapping his foot against his chair leg.
(c) Reading random sections of Marx's writing.
(d) Periodically sniffing a wilted lily.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is the highest point of happiness which Jaromil reaches so far in his life?

2. What night does Magda take her bath?

3. Who was Jaromil's first and greatest friend?

4. Why do Jaromil's poems so often include death?

5. What does Maman do with the books that the artist loans her?

Short Essay Questions

1. What role does Jaromil want the artist to play in his life? How does the artist fall short of these expectations?

2. "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?

3. What revelation does Maman have about her husband one night after a party? How does this affect her relationship with Jaromil?

4. How does Jaromil view the loss of his virginity as a metaphysical event? Is his perception true?

5. When Jaromil returns at midnight after walking the university girl home, Maman becomes hysterical because she was worried about him. What does this scene show about these two people's perception of love?

6. Given the first three paragraphs of Part 2, what leads the reader to believe that this character is Jaromil? What clues tell the reader that it is someone else?

7. Who is Jaromil's only school friend? What picture do these two children present?

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

9. 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?

10. 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?

(see the answer keys)

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