|Name: _________________________||Period: ___________________|
This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. Who is Stroll?
2. Who is revealed to be the person that authorized the use of Ptydepe?
3. What does Helena ask Maria to do with the bag of limes she is carrying?
4. What does Gross interrupt at the start of Act 1, Scene 5?
5. What does the clerk's character symbolize?
Short Essay Questions
1. 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?
2. What is both ironic and significant about Pillar's outburst at the end of Act 2, Scene 10?
3. How do Stroll and Savant talk about Maria and what do they infer about Gross?
4. What important message does Maria give to Gross at the beginning of the second part of Act 2, Scene 9, part 2 about winning, and how does it apply to his situation?
5. What are some examples in Scene 6 of Gross being continually kept of the loop?
6. 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?
7. What does the introduction of Ptydepe signal in the play as it pertains to Gross and his position within the company?
8. What are the noticeable habits of Hana, the secretary, that are displayed in the beginning of the play?
9. What are two main issues that Gross has with Ptydepe in Act 1, Scene 1?
10. Who is Thumb and what does the character represent?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
In the second half of the play, Ballas and Gross switch roles. In dealing with the same frustrations, which differences in Ballas' character influence the way he handles things? What results does the different approach have? What does Gross realize as he sees Ballas deal with the issues? In detail, outline the significant differences in both characters, including how they changed throughout the play, yet still stayed the same in many ways. Use examples from the play as a reference.
Essay Topic 2
A recurring theme that Havel uses through his characters is the "spin" that they provide in order to justify their actions and in some cases, hide their motives.
1) Describe in detail how Lear uses spin to legitimatize Ptydepe. Why does he use this technique when introducing and explaining the new language? What is the overall purpose for his deception?
2) Besides the example of Lear's lectures, what other time in the play was spin used to justify something or as a means to an end? Which character used it? Again, why was this tactic chosen for that specific situation?
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?
This section contains 1,188 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)