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 Gross interrupt at the start of Act 1, Scene 5?

2. What leads to Ballas and Gross switching positions?

3. What does Gross carry with him throughout Scene 2?

4. Gross is being intentionally forced to lose more of what?

5. Where does Gross wish he could return to at the end of Acct 1, Scene 4?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. 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?

3. In the final scene of the play, what theme is brought to the forefront and what is the message Havel delivers?

4. What are the noticeable habits of Hana, the secretary, that are displayed in the beginning of the play?

5. What are some examples of Stroll's initial behavior that further symbolize the intention of keeping Gross out of the loop?

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

7. What possibility does Lear's empty classroom at the end of Act 2, Scene 8 symbolize?

8. Describe the difference between Thumb and Gross as the characters are portrayed in Act 1, Scene 2.

9. What is significant about Thumb's interaction with Lear in Act 2, Scene 11?

10. What are some of the differences between Ballas and Gross in their experiences as Managing Director?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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