Rabelais and His World 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. How does Bakhtin interpret the relevance of the cries of Paris to Renaissance France?

2. With what portion of the body is grotesque debasement most concerned?

3. What does Bakhtin find to be the greatest error other critics make in their studies of Rabelais' works?

4. In Rabelais' time, the word "drum" and the act of drumming connoted:

5. To what does Bakhtin compare the various cries of Paris?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Friar John.

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

3. What was Rabelais' relationship with the fairs based upon?

4. What is Bakhtin's general idea about the purpose of art?

5. What does the prologue of _Pantagruel_ parody?

6. Describe the Catchpoles and what they symbolize.

7. Describe two episodes of beatings or injury are specifically centered around the theme of feasting.

8. What was Bakhtin's relationship with the Russian Union of Writers?

9. What was the effect of the suspension of social hierarchies during Carnival?

10. What role do oaths and profanities fill in Rabelais' novel?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What connections do Bakhtin and the authors of the Foreword and the Prologue draw between Bakhtin and Rabelais? How were their lives and times similar? What common themes are evident in their writing? In which important ways do they differ?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the "querelle des femmes" and Rabelais' perspective on it. How does Rabelais' novel portray women and femininity? Is Bakhtin's explanation of Rabelais' perspective on the querelle des femmes problematic in any way? Feel free to address this issue using terms of modern feminist theory.

Essay Topic 3

Describe how Rabelais uses Friar John as a representative of the Catholic Church. How does he describe Friar John? What situations does Rabelais put Friar John into, and how does the Friar behave? What might these situations and characterization say about the Church? How do official and unofficial modes of speech and communication work with Friar John? Does he represent the carnivalesque, the grotesque, or popular festivity in anything he says or does?

(see the answer keys)

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