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 ask Lear to do for him in Act 1, Scene 5?

2. What does Ballas ask Gross at the beginning of Act 1, Scene 4?

3. Where is Ballas located at the end of Act 1, Scene 4?

4. As a result of Gross' incorrect answers, what does Lear deny him?

5. What does Maria offer Helena in Act 1, scene 3?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is significant about Gross' search for cigarettes and what does Havel use it to represent in the play?

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

3. What does Gross' signature of the Ptydepe authorization set into motion?

4. 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?

5. What does Helena's request for Maria to help her make coffee symbolize?

6. 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?

7. What is it about Gross' personality that makes him susceptible to Ballas' manipulation?

8. What does the number of students in Lear's class in Act 2, Scene 11 say about his lecture topic, and the state of the company in general?

9. What are some examples in Scene 6 of Gross being continually kept of the loop?

10. What do Hana's habits and actions symbolize?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

As the play ends, there are two possible outcomes for Gross based on the decision he makes. Use the following format to present a case for both. Make sure to include examples from the play to support your cases.

1) First, explain why Gross' decision means that he will most likely never be able to make a difference at the company, and eventually might even stop trying altogether.

2) Second, explain why Gross' decision means that he will continue to fight from within the company, and eventually make a difference by stopping the bureaucracy, and gaining his independence in the process.

3) Finally, explain what will happen in your opinion. Which one of the above cases do you agree with and why?

(see the answer keys)

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