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 Hana inform Ballas the memo could possibly be?

2. In Act 2, Scene 9, how many translations does Stroll say he has done?

3. What symbolism of hope does Havel use at the end of Act 2, Scene 8?

4. What is Pillar's response when he is asked by Ballas if he knows Ptydepe?

5. At the beginning of Act 2, Scene 9, what is Maria trying on?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the second half of the play, Ballas and Gross switch roles. In dealing with the same frustrations, which differences in Ballas' character influence the way he handles things? What results does the different approach have? What does Gross realize as he sees Ballas deal with the issues? In detail, outline the significant differences in both characters, including how they changed throughout the play, yet still stayed the same in many ways. Use examples from the play as a reference.

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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