The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What reason for practicing weapons drill does Pavlo give to Towers when asked?

2. What is Pavlo's first question to Tower?

3. What did the man in the Corporal's story do to the two Vietnamese people?

4. What does Ardell remind Pavlo of in the event of a radiation attack?

5. What does Ardell do while helping Pavlo get dressed after his suicide attempt?

Short Essay Questions

1. Pavlo seems to respond to events in many different ways. Explain how his response to Pierce, when Pierce urges him to fight back, can be viewed as a highly perceptive and telling one for the audience about Pavlo's life views.

2. How is Pavlo's understanding of acceptable social engagement impaired? Back up your answer with examples.

3. After some prompting from Ardell in the final Act, Pavlo shouts repeatedly that it's all shit. His shouts eventually become a scream of rage and frustration. What can we say Ardell represents throughout this play for Pavlo, as well as for the audience?

4. In what ways do the scenes where Pavlo displays helplessness give insight into the reasons for Pavlo's drive to become a better or "good" soldier?

5. How does Pavlo's egocentrism and immaturity play a part in misleading him from the identity he so strongly desires?

6. Identify and explore, using examples, a key component to Pavlo's character in this act.

7. Explore the ways in which Pavlo is made to feel helpless in this act. Theorize on the writer's purpose for creating these moments.

8. What could be surmised about Pavlo's thoughts from his comments to Miller about wanting to be on the front lines in Act 3, Part 2?

9. How are the opening scenes of this play different than others? Plot-wise, hypothesize over the purpose of this style of opening.

10. In what way does Pavlo try to become "a good soldier"? Explain what seems to get in the way of this endeavor.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How, between Act 2, Part 3, and Part 4 is Pavlo seen to be clearly embracing his newfound identity as "a perfect soldier" with all the energy, passion, and commitment he can muster? Give at least five examples of this attitude bordering on complete delusion and hypothesize about Pavlo's fate should he continue with this attitude towards what he is being faced with daily.

Essay Topic 2

Brisbey's passing reference to Christ, who is never mentioned by name, but whose identity and sacrifice are evoked by Brisbey's reference to God being "nailed" is the possibility that the idea of sacrifice arising from this reference can be applied to Pavlo's situation. Pavlo's situation can be seen as the sacrifice of individual identity in the name of a larger "God-given" purpose. How else might Brisbey's use of the word "nailed" be a possible implication by Rabe that the good man always gets the bad end of things? Would you say that this could be a foreshadowing device about the fate of our protagonist? Why or why not? Support your argument with examples from the text.

Essay Topic 3

How does the non-existence of the "wounded twice rule" function as a metaphor for the nature of Pavlo's delusional belief system? Use examples to support your answer, specifically to back up the nature of Pavlo's delusional belief system.

(see the answer keys)

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