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. Why do Jaromil's poems so often include death?
(a) He wants to be absorbed in something absolute and immense.
(b) Death is the only thing he does not yet understand
(c) He is gradually becoming suicidal.
(d) A violent streak is developing as he is treated cruelly by the world.

2. How is the university girl different from any other girl Jaromil has known?
(a) She barely lets him touch her.
(b) She only lets him kiss her when no one else is around.
(c) She does not want him to meet her family.
(d) She gives him complete liberty with her body.

3. What is Jaromil's first long poem about?
(a) Young lovers who are reunited.
(b) A man who suddenly realizes he is old.
(c) The tragedy of love that is realized too late.
(d) Death that comes early for a young man.

4. Why does the blond girl wear a beautiful white dress to the dance hall?
(a) She wants Xavier to notice her.
(b) She wants to attract attention from the boys around her.
(c) She wants to personify the snow.
(d) It is her wedding dress.

5. What does Maman do with the books that the artist loans her?
(a) Does not read them.
(b) Reads them openly as a sign of her new love.
(c) Reads them secretly for fear that Jaromil will recognize them.
(d) Asks Jaromil to read them so she doesn't have to.

Short Answer Questions

1. In desperation for a response, what does Jaromil mail to the famous poet?

2. How does Xavier use sleep?

3. Why does Jaromil begin taking lesson from the art teacher?

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

5. While kissing the old woman, why does Xavier turn on the light?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. Consider titles of the novel, sections, and chapters. How do the titles help to establish the frame of the story?

3. What does Xavier notice most about the woman in the apartment? How does the woman use her eyes?

4. While Jaromil is still a child, how does Maman prepare him for success as a writer? How does her preparation, paradoxically, also prepare him for failure?

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

6. When Maman combs Jaromil's hair in front of her guests, how does he react? According to the implications of the text, how does this deepen the rift between them?

7. "For real life is elsewhere. The students are pulling up cobblestones, overturning cars, making barricades; their entrance into the world is noise and magnificent, illuminated by flames and glorified by explosions of tear gar grenades" (Part 4, pg 175). What does this mean in the context of Jaromil's life?

8. How does the artist's concept of an "inner world" (Part 1, Chapter 6, pg 30) dramatically change Jaromil's character?

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

10. 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?

(see the answer keys)

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