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. How does Stroll exit in Act 1, Scene 3?

2. What is the overall point that Havel is making in Act 1, Scene 5?

3. In modern times, what is a term used to describe the act of portraying something negative in a positive way?

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

5. What does George, the Staff Watcher, do that upsets Gross and causes him to leave the room?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. What explanation does Ballas offer to Gross and what position does he offer him?

3. The "wrong cause" that Stroll, Savant, and Helena are upset about dedicating their lives to is really a symbol for what larger "wrong cause?"

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

5. What does the fire extinguisher symbolize?

6. What reasoning does Gross give Maria for not reversing the decision about her job?

7. What is the game that Helena plays with Gross and what does it symbolize?

8. How does Gross justify his situation to himself towards the end of Act 1, Scene 4?

9. What is ironic about the way the conversation between Gross and Ballas starts and the way it concludes, specifically concerning Gross' job?

10. What is Lear lecturing about during Act 2, Scene 11, and why does it cause Gross to stop and listen?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The crucial moment of the second part of Act 9 is when the memo is finally translated for Gross. The contents of it are ironic, comedic, and inspiring all at the same time. Explain them in detail, describing why and how all three themes (irony, comedy, and inspiration) are represented. Also, explain what the significance is of Maria being the one to translate it. What does that add to the message for Gross?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Many characters in the play are given names to illustrate their specific place in the story, in the company, and in Havel's central theme in general. Sometimes these names are also references to other people or things.

1) Choose at least four characters and describe in detail why their names accomplish what Havel sets out to show with each of them. Use examples from the play to provide the reasoning for how you draw your conclusions.

2) Do you think that Havel also chose these names to add a comedic element to the characters as well? Why or why not? If that is the case, how does he achieve this?

(see the answer keys)

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