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

2. What work of literature is parodied in the prologue of _Gargantua_?
(a) Dante's _Divine Comedy_
(b) Malory's _Le Morte d'Arthur_
(c) Plato's _Symposium_
(d) Chaucer's _Canterbury Tales_

3. Bakhtin thinks that life is:
(a) Inert, chaotic, and requiring the intervention of art.
(b) A sacrifice the soul makes to the body.
(c) Organized by human acts of behavior and cognition.
(d) Meaningless and futile.

4. Bakhtin considers "thrashing" ambivalent, rather than strictly negative, because:
(a) The act of thrashing is done to punish the individual.
(b) The act of thrashing is done out of kindness.
(c) The one who is thrashed is also decorated and celebrated.
(d) The one who is thrashed explicitly agrees to the act.

5. Clowns and fools are:
(a) Present only at large fairs or gatherings.
(b) Everyday representatives of the folk and of Carnival.
(c) Prisoners forced to entertain others.
(d) Restricted to entertaining the royal court.

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

7. Mikhail Bakhtin is:
(a) The most famous Russian writer ever.
(b) A somewhat mysterious but increasingly interesting literary figure.
(c) A vocal Eastern Orthodox cleric.
(d) A fictional figure created to be the mouthpiece of an anonymous author.

8. Why did Bakhtin feel his times were comparable to those of the Renaissance?
(a) Both eras were times of broad social change that left people unsure of how to proceed.
(b) Two political leaders of the different eras were incredibly alike.
(c) The specific threat of disease was killing many people in both times.
(d) The literatures and cultures of both eras bore a distinct resemblance.

9. Did the "unofficial" and "official" forms of speech ever coincide?
(a) Yes, especially during festivals.
(b) No, except during times of war.
(c) No, both forms of speech were highly regulated.
(d) Yes, except for religious holidays.

10. What was the reception of Rabelais' work in the eighteenth century?
(a) His work was viewed as a revival of Classical writing.
(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) Other writers strove to emulate his style.

11. According to Bakhtin's semiotic understanding, what irony is inherent within the creative power of language?
(a) All languages are one.
(b) No word can actually ever be defined.
(c) Language does not actually express anything.
(d) The individual expresses him- or herself only through the words of others.

12. Why does Bakhtin consider oaths, curses, and profanities elements of freedom?
(a) A person can form any sound into a curse or profanity.
(b) Slaves are prohibited from using such forms of speech.
(c) They are contrary to official modes of speech.
(d) Populist uprisings often have profanities and oaths in their declarations.

13. To what does Veselovsky compare Rabelais?
(a) A village boy.
(b) An elderly scholar.
(c) A pious priest.
(d) An ironfisted dictator.

14. In the seventeenth century, the decline of laughter as a primary force in folk culture resulted from:
(a) The need of the public for other forms of diversion.
(b) An increasingly "official" culture of rationalism.
(c) The exhaustion of any new sources of humor.
(d) The declining number of Carnival performers.

15. How, according to Bakhtin, does the current Russian literary criticism approach Rabelais' works?
(a) By sharing them with an eager public.
(b) By reviving their content in new, twentieth-century forms.
(c) By denouncing them as counterproductive to the ongoing Russian Revolution.
(d) By trying to correctly interpret the source of the cultural laughter within them.

Short Answer Questions

1. What do Rabelais' various works indicate about the popular notion of urination?

2. What does Bakhtin consider the most indispensable element of folk culture?

3. Why does Gargantua steal the bells of the Notre Dame cathedral?

4. When the grotesque was revived in the Romantic era, what did it react against?

5. Why, according to Bakhtin, is Rabelais' parody of the Church not considered heresy?

(see the answer keys)

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