Rabelais and His World Test | Mid-Book Test - Easy

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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. How are Bakhtin and Rabelais similar?
(a) They both subvert the social prohibition on laughter, satire, and irony.
(b) They both write mostly novels.
(c) They both directly challenge the government by running for political office.
(d) They live in the same country.

2. How does the prologue of _Pantagruel_ demonstrate the connection between literature and the marketplace?
(a) It begins with a detailed description of the author's hometown marketplace.
(b) It simultaneously advertises itself and praises the public.
(c) It offers a pricey alternative to illiteracy.
(d) It exhorts its readers to record in writing their own experiences of fairs and of Carnival.

3. What is a "marketplace spectacle"?
(a) The mundane goings-on of a typical French Renaissance marketplace.
(b) A theatrical production arranged atop a platform in the center of the marketplace.
(c) A series of booths dedicated solely to bilking customers out of their money.
(d) Specifically the public whipping of a criminal in the center of the marketplace.

4. What repressive organization was Bakhtin forced to join in order to continue writing?
(a) The National Writers' Agency.
(b) The Soviet Society of National Fiction.
(c) The Post-Revolution Press
(d) The Russian Union of Writers.

5. What does Bakhtin argue is the role of dialogue?
(a) To give one character a strong voice.
(b) To oppose the authoritarian word.
(c) To demonstrate thinking out loud.
(d) To move the plot along.

6. How does Rabelais accomplish the grotesque degradation of his target in the prologue to the Third Book?
(a) By insulting the targets' mothers.
(b) By accusing the targets of paganism and crimes against the Church.
(c) By declaring the targets to be empty-headed.
(d) By declaring the targets incapable of the basest bodily functions.

7. In the folklore and grotesque realism of Rabelais' works, excrement represents bodies and matter that are:
(a) Frightening and terrible.
(b) One with the earth.
(c) Mostly comic.
(d) Generally revered.

8. What do oaths and curses have in common with town announcements and the calls of vendors?
(a) They all are familiar parts of the society of the marketplace.
(b) They are the only socially acceptable methods of greeting strangers.
(c) They are all said with the same feelings in mind.
(d) They all are forbidden during certain times of the year.

9. How is the figure of the king treated in Rabelais' writing?
(a) Like a child: pampered, sheltered, and beloved.
(b) Like a criminal: charged, tried, and punished.
(c) Like a god: worshipped, feared, and obeyed.
(d) Like a clown: beaten, travestied, and transformed.

10. In Rabelais' time, why was the meaning of debasement often ambivalent?
(a) Because the debased person may choose to deflect the debasement.
(b) Because the person saying the insult never means it seriously.
(c) Because the decaying or excretory organs are closely located to the regenerative genital organs.
(d) Because the head is quite separate from all the other parts of the body, spiritually and materially.

11. How does Bakhtin define the novel?
(a) As a work of pure imagination.
(b) As a single-voiced text.
(c) As a worthless type of literature.
(d) As a multiplicity of styles.

12. What was the reception of Rabelais' work in the eighteenth century?
(a) Other writers strove to emulate his style.
(b) His work was viewed as unintelligible and barbaric.
(c) Other writers used his topics as a jumping-off point for their own works.
(d) His work was viewed as a revival of Classical writing.

13. To what does Bakhtin compare the various cries of Paris?
(a) A howling wolf.
(b) A roaring storm.
(c) A sobbing child.
(d) A crowded kitchen.

14. In the Prologue of the Third Book, to which contemporary events does Rabelais allude?
(a) The defense of France against Charles V.
(b) The defeat of the French and Spanish fleets by Admiral Nelson.
(c) The Black Death.
(d) The Norman Invasion.

15. In Rabelais' time, jurons, or profanities and oaths, were most often concerned with:
(a) Monarchs who subjugated their people.
(b) Family ties, such as one's in-laws.
(c) Sacred themes, such as saints and relics.
(d) Marketplace vendors who cheated their customers.

Short Answer Questions

1. The combination of solemnity and joking in the tone of the Prologue to the Third Book indicates:

2. Clowns and fools are:

3. Why was Rabelais linked so closely to the Lyon fairs?

4. What are the "Catchpoles" of which Rabelais writes?

5. Why, according to Bakhtin, does Rabelais treat excrement ambivalently?

(see the answer keys)

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