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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. After Rabelais' time, the use of laughter in literature and culture moved in which direction?
(a) From spiritual to earthly.
(b) From singular to universal.
(c) From accepted to encouraged.
(d) From universal to restricted.

2. The purpose of "travesty" in folk festivals was to:
(a) Irreversibly denigrate everything it could.
(b) Indicate the importance of travel to an individual's self-development.
(c) Call upon something serious and make it amusing.
(d) Reassert traditional definitions of social and spiritual life.

3. Bakhtin believes that novels are:
(a) Utterly separate from the author's own life.
(b) Inherently confessional.
(c) Random, like stream-of-consciousness.
(d) Socially charged and polemical.

4. How is the Rabelaisian use of tripe an excellent example of grotesque realism?
(a) It merges the positive and negative, or upper and lower, spheres of the body.
(b) It is the epitome of disgusting.
(c) It combines fantasy with reality in one type of cuisine.
(d) It is a drug which offers the user a glimpse of a higher plane of existence.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. With what is "folk culture" most concerned?

2. How does Bakhtin define the novel?

3. What does young Gargantua study in order to become acquainted with the common folk?

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

5. Bakhtin thinks that life is:

Short Essay Questions

1. What was the general perception of laughter in the Renaissance?

2. What is important about the figure of the physician in Rabelais' novel?

3. What was "prandial libertinism"?

4. How does Bakhtin interpret the prologue of _Pantagruel_?

5. What is significant about the language in which Rabelais writes and the sources of many of his words?

6. How is Bakhtin's book "double-voiced," as Michael Holquist asserts it is?

7. What does Bakhtin mean when he argues that laughter affirms the people's unofficial truth?

8. Why do modern readers find it difficult to read Rabelais' novel?

9. How does Rabelais strengthen the exaggerated themes of his grotesque realism?

10. What is the significance of the figure of the androgyne in Rabelais' novel?

(see the answer keys)

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