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 Pierce urge Pavlo to do in response to the people tormenting him?

2. What is happening in the barracks when Ardell first appears to find Pavlo near death?

3. What is Pavlo wearing when Ardell shouts at him to get up from under the blanket?

4. What is Hinkle ordered to do upon the realization that Pavlo is close to death?

5. Where do the Corporal and Pavlo meet for the first time?

Short Essay Questions

1. Pavlo believes that good soldiers are never helpless in any situation. How does this belief play out and dramatize itself in his experience with the Corporal and following scenes?

2. What dramatic changes occur to Pavlo and his mentality in Act 2, Part 4?

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

4. How has Pavlo dealt with struggles concerning his family/social relations? Could it be surmised that the "wound" Towers is referring to may also relate to Pavlo's wounds of the ill-effects of poor relationships throughout his life? How?

5. How is this scene, as well as Ardell's character, a seminaly metaphoric catalyst, displaying Pavlo's transformations and inner desires?

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

7. In what ways are the playwright's use of the "collage effect" of creation especially poignant in this act?

8. How are the depths of Pavlo's innocence defined in this scene?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Pavlo's experience with Brisbey is the first of several confrontations Pavlo has with the harsh realities of war and army life. Our journey as audience members is the same as his. We are confronted with graphically portrayed images of the bodies and perspectives of soldiers and civilians alike are mutilated beyond repair, even destroyed, by the way militaristic attitudes teach those willing to believe that violence is not a means to an end, but an end unto itself.

Expand upon the other ways by which Rabe devises his anti-war message to the audience, using examples to back up your thoughts.

Essay Topic 3

The argument could be made that Pavlo's willful and continuous acts of denial spring from a classic tragic flaw. In the same way as classical characters of potential greatness like Oedipus, Hamlet, or Macbeth are brought to destruction by flaws of character (pride, indecision, or ambition), Pavlo is conceivably a character of potential greatness deeply flawed by self-delusion. The counter to this argument is that we never actually see Pavlo's greatness, not even a glimpse of it. In fact, from the beginning, he is portrayed as both loser and lost, defining his identity through the actions and example of other people. Does this make him any less tragic, or does his death portray him as the definitive victim? Choose a side to argue and consistently refer to examples from the book to back up your argument.

(see the answer keys)

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