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

2. What does Ardell say to Pavlo in regards to the person Pavlo sees in the mirror?

3. What happens after the whistle blows?

4. What reason for practicing weapons drill does Pavlo give to Towers when asked?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. In what way does Pavlo try to become "a good soldier"? Explain what seems to get in the way of this endeavor.

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

4. Identify and explore, using examples, a key component to Pavlo's character in this act.

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

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

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

8. How is it ironic that Pavlo has joined the army in order to find his true, personal identity?

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

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explain how the line between delusion and reality in Pavlo's mind becomes increasingly blurred as the action of Act 2, Part 4 unfolds and what implications this has for the audience's possible hopes for Pavlo's survival or at the very least the hope for an acceptable demise. Cite at least 4 examples of moments where Pavlo reacts in accordance to delusion rather than in accordance with reality-based logic.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

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.

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