Life Is Elsewhere Test | Mid-Book 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. Which famous composer's music is played at the blond girl's funeral?

2. Why is Jaromil especially proud of the slogan "No churches"?

3. Why does Maman weep as the artist makes love to her?

4. According to the poet's father, where was the poet conceived?

5. After the debate in the artist's apartment, how does Jaromil know he is no longer welcome there?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Jaromil prepare for a date with a girl? How does his preparation actually make him completely unprepared for the date?

2. At the ski lodge, Xavier kisses the old woman while luring the girl outside in the snow. In this scene, how do the women exchange places in life? How is this emphasized by the colors they wear?

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

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

5. When the artist explains the red and brown painting to Maman, what is her response? How does this set the tone for the rest of their relationship?

6. "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?

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

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

9. Why is Jaromil thrilled at the thought of catching Magda, the family maid, in the bathtub? What does this say about his sexual development?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What implications are there in Xavier's dance with the older woman? Are details of her age seen as something beautiful? How does this dance show Xavier's triumph over a girl his own age? What about over his own age? How is his love for the blond girl incomplete without his demonstration of love for the old woman?

Essay Topic 2

What is the setting of the novel? How does this establish the story? How might the story be different in another setting?

Essay Topic 3

What interaction do the characters have with nature? When is nature kind and when is it cruel? How much responsibility does nature bear for actions in the characters' lives (i.e., the boulder, the park, the snow, and the cold wind).

(see the answer keys)

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