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 is Pavlo drunkenly talking to in the opening scene?

2. After the Corporal and Pavlo meet, what does Pavlo say in the barracks is so important about being a good soldier?

3. Where does Ardell say he's from?

4. What does Pavlo also explain thinking about while holding the grenade?

5. What is Ardell's reason for not believing what he's seeing in Pavlo's mind?

Short Essay Questions

1. Theorize on the effect that the two stabbings have on Pavlo in Act 2, Part 3.

2. What might "Jody" in the final military song of Act 2, Part 5 represent or metaphorically speak to?

3. Although Kress seems to be convinced that Pavlo is stupid, is this an accurate assumption? Why or why not?

4. Explain the possible complexities of symbolism behind Pavlo's wound in this play.

5. How is Pavlo egocentric, almost childish? Explore the ways in which these traits are dramatized.

6. How does Pavlo's answer Kress regarding stealing and how does this provide an insight into Pavlo's egocentric nature?

7. Theorize as to Parham's purpose in the play besides being another wounded soldier/dead body for Pavlo to save in Act 2, Part 3.

8. In the final scene, how does Wall live up to the metaphorical meaning of his name?

9. 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?

10. Explore the reasons why Pavlo might be desperate for a new identity.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

In terms of Pavlo's innocence about people, again we see in this scene that his he does have compassion for his fellow soldiers. However, his methods of going about connecting with his fellow soldiers don't have anything to do with who they are. It's all about what he, Pavlo, feels and believes. His attitude is centered in the common enough desire to be liked and respected and above all seen as an individual with value. This is connected to his desire for an identity. If he's seen, for example, as someone with a colorful family or a colorful history, that defines him and gives him an identity. Explain by citing examples from the play how Pavlo's ego-centrism gets in the way of all of his goals and desires to become the man he wants to become.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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