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 is Pavlo accused of being by the trainees?

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

3. What does the Corporal say it is easy to do in Vietnam?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Theorize about the significance of the story Pavlo relates of the girl who seemed like a "robot."

2. 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?

3. How is the incident of Pavlo taking the aspirin and not waking up during the other trainees' games symbolic? How is this foreshadowing?

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

5. What can the audience understand about Pavlo's mentality in Act 2, Part 4 when Pavlo shouts back to Ardell after being wounded that they can "hurt him as many times as they want?"

6. 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.

7. The image of the closed coffin is the final component of the play's collage, the last piece of the puzzle that once was Pavlo's life. Describe it's effects, and comment on the general purpose of the play overall.

8. Explore the ways in which Pavlo is made to feel helpless in this act. Theorize on the writer's purpose for creating these moments.

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

10. In this brief section of Act 2, Part 3, how is Pavlo again confronted with a vivid reminder of the destruction involved in war?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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