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. Why does the brunette leave Prague?

2. Why does Maman push away her husband's hand when he wants to make love?

3. Why does the artist begin loaning books to Jaromil?

4. What was the dramatic action that led to the kiss between Jaromil and the university girl?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. When Kundera opens the scene of Maman and Jaromil's vacation, he uses many descriptive words and phrases. What effect does this have on the reading of the novel?

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

5. "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?

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

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

8. What is the point of the scene in which Xavier leads his military compatriots to battle? Why does he not get his wish for death?

9. Why is Maman angry at Jaromil because of her love life? Is her anger justified?

10. "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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Jaromil's father is his greatest friend (Part I, Chapter 4, pg 21). What might his mother have felt during that time? How does this weaken the close bond she has had with him before?

Essay Topic 2

Xavier's woman lover looks like an aquatic being (Part 2, Chapter 4, pg 73). What are the ties to Jaromil's perception of Magda? What importance does water have in the perception of beautiful women? What connections are there to ice?

Essay Topic 3

Does the story of Xavier's time in the yellow house border on the fantastic? What makes the story plausible and what makes it fantastical?

(see the answer keys)

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