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 is the overall message in Act 2, Scene 11?

2. Who is the only student Lear is lecturing during Act 2, Scene 8?

3. According to Lear, what is a big factor in the way people use Ptydepe?

4. What is Stroll's excuse for not doing more translations?

5. Gross tells Maria that his current situation is a result of what?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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