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 is Gross's new title?

2. What does Gross give Ballas and Pillar?

3. in Act 1, Scene 5, what does Lear attempt to illustrate about Ptydepe?

4. What indicates the author's symbolic use of metaphors?

5. Who gets quizzed along with Gross on their knowledge of Ptydepe?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How is the symbolism of the fire extinguisher heightened at the beginning of the second part of Act 2, Scene 9, part 2 with George and Gross?

3. How is Gross manipulated again in Act 1, Scene 5?

4. Why does Gross report to the Training Center in Act 1, Scene 5, and what is he carrying?

5. What is Ballas' new offer to Gross, and what is the cause of it as well as the reasoning behind it?

6. How does Lear explain the complexities of Ptydepe to the class?

7. What events lead Gross to speak out against the technological advances that are affecting humanity?

8. Where does Gross pass through in Act 2, Scene 8, what is he carrying, and what does that represent?

9. What does Havel use the reference of a theater to symbolize?

10. What does the fire extinguisher symbolize?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

The character of George, the Staff Watcher, is Havel's way of warning against what form of government control. Why is that role significant to the end result of what the bureaucracy in the play is after? Later on, as Gross becomes the Staff Watcher for a brief time, how does the role change? How does he fill the position differently than George? Finally, when the positions are switched yet again, what is the symbolic significance of the way George acts and Gross' place at the time? This essay should chronicle the Staff Watcher position from the beginning to the end of the play, describing its part in the story.

Essay Topic 3

The protest in Scene 10 of Act 2 is one of Havel's most blatant illustrations of the dangers he is writing the play to raise awareness of. How does the protest relate to those dangers? What does it say about the bureaucrats involved? Also, explain Pillar's specific role in the protest and the warning Havel is making through his work. Include the significance of Pillar's name and how it fits in with the character's purpose in the plot at this point in the play.

(see the answer keys)

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