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

2. What does Hinkle realize Pavlo has done to himself while the other trainees are playing their game?

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

4. What does Pavlo shout out at the end of Act 1, Part 4?

5. What kind of a game do Pierce, Hinkle, and Kress set up?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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

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. 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?

5. How is Brisbey's talk on the depth of the ocean a metaphorical slight towards Pavlo?

6. This is a play that bases its dramatizations of the main character's life by employing a "collage effect," scenes seemingly unrelated and presented in a somewhat random fashion but creating an artistic overall understanding of the plot. Explain how the scenes of this act add different perspectives to Pavlo's "collage effect."

7. How does the scene in which Pavlo grabs the grenade display yet another ironic moment in his seemingly life-long struggle for identity? What character trait seems to remain intact to the very end of his life, possibly leading to his ultimate demise?

8. 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.

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. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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, 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.

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