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 did Pavlo have thrown over him when he once entered the barracks?

2. What does Pavlo say he did when he read the letter?

3. What does Ardell first ask Pavlo?

4. Who does Hendrix say confronted two Vietnamese?

5. Who are the two characters in the furnace room when Pavlo first enters?

Short Essay Questions

1. Choose and explore one character trait of Pavlo that is revealed in the beginning of this play.

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

3. 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?

4. How is Pavlo's interactions and awareness of Brisbey and his plight of significance to the audience's understanding of what happens to people as a result of being involved in war?

5. 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?

6. How does the playwright use both the inconsistent plot-line and paradoxical aspects of Pavlo's character traits to create an introduction that makes the audience want to watch more?

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

8. Explain the nature of and reasoning behind Pavlo's lies.

9. 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.

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

How are the play's three central elements - style, character, and theme - introduced vividly and succinctly in the opening scenes of this play? Conversely, what form of plot has Rabe employed, and what effect does it have on the audience? Use examples from the book to explain your thoughts, giving a clear outline of the chosen style of plot line.

Essay Topic 2

In the early scenes Ardell is seen to be something of a guide, showing Pavlo both the way into death and the way into himself, but in one scene he becomes a manifestation or externalization of Pavlo's inner drive to be a good soldier. This is illustrated by the way he drills Pavlo on the use of his weapon, and in later scenes, he performs similar instructional functions in similar circumstances. Identify and explain other moments during which Ardell becomes an externalization of Pavlo's inner life.

Essay Topic 3

As new characters are introduced, we begin to realize that many of their names may not have been arbitrarily assigned. That is to say that their names have metaphorical meaning in relation to the plot and setting itself. Write an essay exploring the possible meanings behind 3 or more characters' names in the play and how those names fit the characters' words and/or actions. Conclude by crediting these metaphors to a deeper understanding of Rabe's intention in naming these characters.

(see the answer keys)

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