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. What night does Magda take her bath?

2. What is the primary reason that Xavier runs into danger ahead of his comrades?

3. Why does Maman not want to go to the lake on vacation?

4. Why does Jaromil go to the beach with Maman and her friends?

5. What is Jaromil's criterion for a true poem?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. 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?

5. As Jaromil reaches adolescence, why is manhood so important to him?

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

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

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

9. What does the artist want most of all for Maman? Why is this difficult for her?

10. "It was sad, but beautiful, too: for a moment, Jaromil lost the feeling of being a mere child" (Part 3, Chapter 25, pg 150). What causes this moment? Will it last?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What significance is there in the dialogue? The author records more conversations between Jaromil and his mother than between any other people. How does this affect the reader's perception of their relationship?

Essay Topic 2

What is the significance in very few names? Who has a name and what importance does this convey?

Essay Topic 3

Find examples of older people in love with younger. How does this fit the Freudian theme of Jaromil with his mother? What is the significance in the fact that Xavier cannot undress the old woman?

(see the answer keys)

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