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. Who in Towers's story to the trainees did Towers surprise during World War II?

2. When Pavlo asks how the man in the Corporal's story "knew," what was the Corporal's answer?

3. How does Pavlo first respond to the army recruits?

4. Who does Hendrix say confronted two Vietnamese?

5. What kind of test are the trainees waiting to hear the results of?

Short Essay Questions

1. In what ways can Pavlo be considered a classic "tragic figure" by the time the audience reaches Act 2, Part 4? Relate him to other well-known tragic figures in literature.

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

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

4. The image of the closed coffin is the final component of the play's collage, the last piece of the puzzle that once was Pavlo's life. Describe it's effects, and comment on the general purpose of the play overall.

5. 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?

6. Tower mentions the North Star more than a few times throughout the play, and finally in Act 2, Part 4. Up until this point, what are the possible meanings of these references to the North Star?

7. Consider the graphic scenes presented in this part, and think about the word "mutilation." Employ this word to describe the deeper meanings of what is happening in these scenes. How are things, people, and ideas mutilated throughout this scene?

8. In this scene, Pavlo seems unable to do anything for himself and is guided by the other characters' help to get dressed and go through the motions of what he is "supposed" to do. What similarities can be found between this external dressing of Pavlo and running thematic points throughout the play in general?

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

10. 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.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

As soon understood by the audience, scenes take place in different time frames, places, and even on different planes of existence; such as Pavlo being alive or Pavlo being dead. How is this narrative structure key to appreciating the play's style? Consider the phrase "the whole is more than the sum of its parts," and sum up your findings about the style of this play using this phrase to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

As the collage takes shape, we see how Pavlo joined the army in order to define himself, and we see how Pavlo ends, with a defined identity as a dead soldier. Using the platform of Rabe's anti-war sentiments that run throughout this play, explore how Rabe's choice to expose Pavlo's death so early on in the play creates an even more powerful statement against the fortunes of war.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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