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 fear if he does not agree to the switch?

2. One main point in Act 1, Scene 4 is to display that Ballas and the higher-ups are after power for what purpose?

3. What is Gross symbolically holding when Ballas and Pillar return to his office in Act 1 Scene 4?

4. What is still in its infancy and talked about as if it were a baby?

5. What does Ballas constantly look to Pillar for?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do Ballas and Column continue to perpetuate by going to lunch in the middle of Lear's lecture in Act 2, Scene 11?

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

3. What are some examples of the familiarity of Ballas' morning as Managing Director and what is it similar to?

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

5. What do the cigars symbolize and how are they used to introduce the Staff Watcher's place in the play?

6. 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?

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

8. How do Stroll and Savant talk about Maria and what do they infer about Gross?

9. How does Gross justify his situation to himself towards the end of Act 1, Scene 4?

10. What is Lear lecturing about during Act 2, Scene 11, and why does it cause Gross to stop and listen?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

One of the writing techniques used by Havel is the repeated cycles he creates for the story. This is a way for an event or situation to be "recycled" in order to make a point. Describe in detail an example of how events were repeated for which characters. Were the events exactly the same as when they appeared originally in the play? If not, what was different about them? Why did Havel choose to make these changes? For each repeated event, also include the point Havel makes with it.

Essay Topic 2

Havel introduces many forms of symbolism by using objects to illustrate his point.

1) Choose three different objects that are a form of symbolism and describe in detail what they represent. Include how they are used in the storyline and why they are effective. What is Havel trying to tell the audience with each of them?

2) Out of the examples you chose in the first section, are there any that are more important to the plot? What makes them more important? How do they fit into the overall theme and main point of the play?

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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