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. The second time that Jaromil does not make love to the university girl, what does she think?

2. On the train, why does Xavier avoid his Latin professor?

3. What does the theme of the long poem reveal about Jaromil's thoughts?

4. Jaromil agonizes over his hair. What kind of hair does he have?

5. With whom does the famous poet appear on the street?

Short Essay Questions

1. In Xavier's interactions with the woman in the apartment, what role does water play?

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

3. 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?

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

5. When Jaromil is unable to make love to the university girl a second time, he pretends that there is another woman in his life. To what extent is this true?

6. How does Part 4 begin? What are the literary advantages to this?

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

8. Why is Jaromil attracted to the dark-haired girl? What does this attraction show about his development as a character?

9. "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?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

When is Jaromil compared to other poets? How does their fame reflect on him? What is the effect of these comparisons?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

What role does guilt play in Jaromil's life? How does Maman use guilt, and how is she susceptible to it herself?

(see the answer keys)

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