|Name: _________________________||Period: ___________________|
This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. What indicates the author's symbolic use of metaphors?
2. What is Gross's new title?
3. What does the item that Gross is carrying in Act 1, Scene 5 symbolize?
4. The parallels Havel draws in Act 1, Scene 4 are between Ballas and what?
5. According to Gross and Hana's discussion, what is strange about Ptydepe, the new language being introduced?
Short Essay Questions
1. After all of the speculation throughout the play, what are the contents of Gross' memo revealed to be, and what effect does this have on him?
2. What do the cigars symbolize and how are they used to introduce the Staff Watcher's place in the play?
3. What subtle things does Ballas do to maintain his power?
4. What does Maria's locating a new job for Gross say about her as a character, and what does Gross' reason for staying with the company say about him as a character?
5. What is different about Gross and his approach in the very beginning of Act 2, Scene 10?
6. The "wrong cause" that Stroll, Savant, and Helena are upset about dedicating their lives to is really a symbol for what larger "wrong cause?"
7. What does Helena's request for Maria to help her make coffee symbolize?
8. What do we notice right away about the relationship between Ballas and Pillar?
9. What is the recurring theme that Pillar's meetings bring back and why do they upset Ballas?
10. Why does Gross report to the Training Center in Act 1, Scene 5, and what is he carrying?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
Thumb is an essential part of the bureaucratic system, even though he seems largely unaware of it. What is his specific role in the play and in the larger theme of the story? Which character traits allow him to fulfill that role? What are the more serious dangers that Thumb represents a warning against?
Essay Topic 2
At a few key times in the play, sparks of hope present themselves. This is what keeps the audience hoping that Gross can turn things around, and it is also what makes them believe it may be possible.
1) Describe some examples of hope that Gross does not see or recognize at the time they are presented to him. What is the irony of this? What does it say about Gross' character?
2) The character of Maria is consistently a main source of hope for Gross. Why do you think Gross is inclined to receive positive messages from her more than from other characters? What is it about Maria's personality that allows her to break through the bureaucracy and provide the hope Gross desperately needs?
Essay Topic 3
In the second half of the play, Ballas and Gross switch roles. In dealing with the same frustrations, which differences in Ballas' character influence the way he handles things? What results does the different approach have? What does Gross realize as he sees Ballas deal with the issues? In detail, outline the significant differences in both characters, including how they changed throughout the play, yet still stayed the same in many ways. Use examples from the play as a reference.
This section contains 1,185 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)