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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 the cinematographer's apartment, what happens?
(a) The cinematographer and Jaromil kiss.
(b) The people have a heated discussion about socialism.
(c) Jaromil recites his silly ideas about love.
(d) The people sip wine and chat amiably.
2. According to Kundera, why is lyricism immature?
(a) It cannot handle themes of war and death.
(b) It thinks mostly about mothers and motherhood.
(c) It wants to return to the safety of childhood.
(d) It only writes poems about childhood.
3. The last time the man and girl had seen each other, what had they talked about?
(a) The girl was unhappy in their relationship.
(b) The man wanted a greater commitment but the girl was unwilling.
(c) The girl was leaving him to be with the young man she loved.
(d) The girl wanted to move in with the man.
4. Why is it important to Jaromil that he die by fire?
(a) A man's death conveys a message about his life.
(b) He thinks fire would be the quickest way to die.
(c) He wants nothing to remain of himself but his poems.
(d) He thinks of himself as a gruesome beacon for the future.
5. Just outside the prison, why does the girl hate to see the horses and riders?
(a) She takes it as a bad omen.
(b) She has always been afraid of horses.
(c) She feels far below them and pitiful by comparison.
(d) She thinks they are out to capture people, possibly her.
Short Answer Questions
1. What happens to Jaromil's uncle?
2. Who is most upset that the bus stop was moved two blocks away from the villa?
3. What location is Maman most excited to film in?
4. During the argument between Jaromil and the party guest, why do the other guests burst out laughing?
5. What happens when a classmate asks Jaromil about the redhead?
Short Essay Questions
1. When Jaromil is angry at the redhead for being fifteen minutes late, what change ensues in their relationship? How does this mark a turning point in Jaromil's development as a person?
2. The group of poets, Jaromil among them, is invited to speak at the police academy in the countryside. What is the irony of this situation and what does it say about the ideals they espouse?
3. "Only a real poet knows how lonely it is inside the mirrored house of poetry" (Part 7, Chapter 1, pg 289). Where else does the reader see mirrors in the story, and how does this sentence relate to Jaromil's life?
4. After not sleeping with the cinematographer, Jaromil considers his underwear for a long time, in light of the women involved. What does he decide? How does this single piece of clothing drive so much of what he does?
5. During the party at the cinematography girl's apartment, how does Jaromil's clothing reflect his state of mind?
6. How is the girl a different person from when she went into the prison? How is she more like Jaromil had been?
7. Kundera says that the young person can be so loyally devoted to an idea because he believes in absolutes (Part 5, Chapter 6, pg 220). How does this fit with Jaromil's personality?
8. Near the end of the book, Xavier betrays Jaromil by leaving him behind. What is the significance of this scene?
9. What arguments do Jaromil and the redhead have concerning their families? How does this illustrate Jaromil's juvenile mindset?
10. What are Jaromil's hopes for the two women in his life? What does this show about his understanding of both women?
This section contains 2,001 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)