The Memorandum Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What style of writing best describes The Memorandum?

2. Lear agrees to help Gross, only if he can show that his interest in Ptydepe is what?

3. What does Gross attempt to steal from Stroll's desk?

4. Why does Ballas tell Gross that the log book needs to be replaced?

5. At the beginning of the play, what kind of letter does Gross receive?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are two main issues that Gross has with Ptydepe in Act 1, Scene 1?

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

3. After all of the speculation throughout the play, what are the contents of Gross' memo revealed to be, and what effect does this have on him?

4. What is different about Gross and his approach in the very beginning of Act 2, Scene 10?

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

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

7. What events lead Gross to speak out against the technological advances that are affecting humanity?

8. What are some more examples of Ballas' parallel experience to Gross' time as Managing Director that are given in the first part of Act 2, Scene 9?

9. How does Lear explain Ptydepe in describing the process for learning it?

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

Essay 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

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?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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