The Memorandum 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 does the item that Gross is carrying in Act 1, Scene 5 symbolize?

2. Who is revealed to be the person that authorized the use of Ptydepe?

3. What does Ballas manipulate Gross into admitting in Act 1, Scene 6?

4. What does Gross declare is reduced when people are forbidden to use their natural language?

5. Who does Gross attempt to persuade in order to bypass authorization?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do Ballas and Column continue to perpetuate by going to lunch in the middle of Lear's lecture in Act 2, Scene 11?

2. Who is Thumb and what does the character represent?

3. What do Hana's habits and actions symbolize?

4. Describe two main methods that Ballas uses in Act 1, Scene 4 to get Gross to comply?

5. What are some more examples of Ballas' parallel experience to Gross' time as Managing Director that are given in the first part of Act 2, Scene 9?

6. What important message does Maria give to Gross at the beginning of the second part of Act 2, Scene 9, part 2 about winning, and how does it apply to his situation?

7. What is different about Thumb's responses in Act 2, Scene 8 as compared to earlier in the play?

8. How do Stroll and Savant talk about Maria and what do they infer about Gross?

9. What does Helena's request for Maria to help her make coffee symbolize?

10. What is it about the letter Gross receives that gets his attention, why is it significant to the play, and how does Gross react to it?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe the characteristics of a satirical play. Why is comedy often used along with satire to make a point? Use examples from The Memorandum as references to your description. Also, explain what the target of the satire in the play is.

Essay Topic 2

One of the writing techniques used by Havel is the repeated cycles he creates for the story. This is a way for an event or situation to be "recycled" in order to make a point. Describe in detail an example of how events were repeated for which characters. Were the events exactly the same as when they appeared originally in the play? If not, what was different about them? Why did Havel choose to make these changes? For each repeated event, also include the point Havel makes with it.

Essay Topic 3

What does the new language, Chorukor, represent in the overall theme of the play? What is the major difference between it and Ptydepe? Explain in detail how each of the main characters react to Chorukor and why their reaction is significant. Do you believe that it can potentially fail in the same way that Ptydepe did, or will the same mistake keep being made? What will stop the mistake from being made again?

(see the answer keys)

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