The Memorandum Test | Final Test - Hard

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Gross give to Ballas at his request in Act 2, Scene 9?

2. What is interesting about the way Ballas receives the mail in Act 2, Scene 7?

3. Who passes through the lecture as Lear is talking?

4. Who vocally protests the use of Ptydepe in unison?

5. What new position does Ballas offer Gross in Act 2, Scene 7?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How does the final scene display the need to confront the attempt to suppress individualism and freedom at any cost? Which characters in the scene illustrate that the most? Why do you think Havel chose those characters to make the strongest point of the play?

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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