|Name: _________________________||Period: ___________________|
This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. Which two characters enter and leave during Lear's lecture in Act 2 , Scene 11?
2. How does George categorize Maria's actions?
3. Who vocally protests the use of Ptydepe in unison?
4. Who does Hana point out does not know Ptydepe either?
5. What do the other bureaucrats sense about Ballas?
Essay Topic 1
In the beginning of the play, Ptydepe is introduced as the new language of the office. This starts the chain of events that lead to many discoveries for the characters and the audience.
1) What does Ptydepe represent within the context of the play? What is it a symbol for in the bureaucracy and why does it cause Gross to become so frustrated?
2) How does Ptydepe tie in with the larger theme of the play, specifically as it relates to the dangers of a socialist/communist system of government? Why do you think Havel chose a language to illustrate his point?
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
In Scene 3 of Act 1, there is a very significant scene involving Maria, Gross, and the Staff Watcher. Describe the scene in detail, highlighting its importance and the messages it delivers. What does it specifically say about each of three characters involved? In a metaphorical sense, what do the cigars represent and why is that a key element to the story?
This section contains 1,836 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)