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. When the results of a recent audit of Gross' department are finally revealed, what are the findings?

2. What is Maria's reaction to Gross' reason for staying?

3. How does George categorize Maria's actions?

4. What happens to take away from the power Gross thought he had at the beginning of Act 2, Scene 10?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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

In Scene 5 of Act 1, an important point is made with the correlation between Gross' pursuit of knowledge (the translation of the memo) and his lack of knowledge. This creates a never ending circle where no logical way out exits for Gross.

1) Explain in detail what the significance of the knowledge is to the play in general, and in the scene specifically. Also, describe the irony of Gross' situation. What does the fact that he cannot answer the questions correctly symbolize? His lack of answers also displays a lack of something else. What is it and is why is it important to the point Havel is making about bureaucracy overall?

2) Staying with the theme of knowledge, which characters are allowed to have it? Do they really possess it, or is it only a perception portrayed to the characters that are kept from knowledge? Why is this necessary for the people to retain their power?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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