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 leads to Ballas and Gross switching positions?

2. The parallels Havel draws in Act 1, Scene 4 are between Ballas and what?

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

4. In Act 1, Scene 6, what is the one signal of hope that Gross does not see, symbolizing that he has lost all hope in his current situation?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is the reason Lear gives for a need of the new language, Ptydepe?

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

4. What do we notice right away about the relationship between Ballas and Pillar?

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

6. Explain the symbolic meanings behind some of the characters introduced in Act 1, Scene 3.

7. What significant discovery does Ballas make at the end of Act 2, Scene 7?

8. What does the introduction of Ptydepe signal in the play as it pertains to Gross and his position within the company?

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

10. What is both ironic and significant about Pillar's outburst at the end of Act 2, Scene 10?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Manipulation is one of the main weapons used against Gross throughout the entire play. Using several examples from the play, describe in detail how Gross is manipulated on a variety of different levels. What is the objective of the manipulation? Why is it effective? Overall, why is manipulation necessary to the way a bureaucratic system functions? How does the play illustrate the way manipulation can lead to control over someone?

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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