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 is the subject of the first army song sung?

2. While Towers is giving bayonet instruction, what does he say one must have in order to use it properly?

3. The corporal tells Pavlo that if he's lucky, he'll be . . .

4. What age does Pavlo remember being while holding the grenade?

5. After Parker and Kress leave the furnace room, what does Pierce make Pavlo do?

Short Essay Questions

1. What key moments in Act 1, Part 4 drive the momentum and energy of the plot forward, and what feeling does that have the potential to create in the audience?

2. What is Pavlo's attitude despite the terribleness of the situations consistently surrounding him in Act 2, Part 3?

3. 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?

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

5. 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.

6. What may be the significance or playwright's purpose for Pavlo realizing he's dead so far along into the play and after the climax?

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

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

9. In the final section, Act 2, Part 5, in what ways does the playwright employ an anti-war message?

10. Identify two juxtaposed aspects to Pavlo's character, and explain how they affect his identity.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

We see how both aspects to Pavlo's character, his innocence and his fear of helplessness, lead him to a re-definition of identity. Explain this is a thematically relevant aspect to his story using examples from the play.

Essay Topic 2

In Act 2, Part 3, Pavlo is again confronted with a vivid reminder of how destructive war is. The juxtaposition here, between his enthusiasm for killing and the violence he encounters, in terms of what happens to Parham and what happens to him dramatizes even more vividly the discrepancy between what he wants to see and the reality in front of him. In what ways does Pavlo deal with this discrepancy? Would you say it is healthy? Why or why not? Support your thoughts with examples.

Essay Topic 3

As we get to know Pavlo's character more intimately it is understood that Pavlo becomes more and more fixated on becoming a good soldier. He eventually defines this as not only a good killer but the right kind of killer and one who becomes both experienced and joyful about it.

What is the irony of Pavlo's understanding of how to go about reconciling and rectifying his fixation with his reality? Give at least four examples along with explanations of how this irony could create a dark fate for our protagonist.

(see the answer keys)

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