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. "Tripe" literally refers to:

2. What was unique about the Russian Revolution?

3. During Bakhtin's time, what genre was being closely defined by the Soviet government?

4. The episode in which Pantagruel and his companions defeat King Anarchus' knights combines:

5. What do some critics argue has been absent from Russian literature?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does the prologue of _Pantagruel_ parody?

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

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

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

5. Describe Friar John.

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

7. What do Rabelais' long lists of names and epithets signify?

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

9. How are being drenched in urine or covered in excrement treated in Rabelais' novel?

10. How does Bakhtin get around the prohibition of certain kinds of satire and irony in his own time?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe the relationship between praise and abuse. Use examples of this theme from what Bakhtin identifies as billingsgate and marketplace language and from popular-festive forms in Chapters 2 and 3. How were praise and abuse part of the tradition of "unofficial" language, and specifically how did they oppose "official" language? Are there elements of the grotesque in praise and abuse?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Define the term "carnivalesque" as Bakhtin uses it. Then, demonstrate this definition by applying it to at least two of the episodes, characters, or scenes which take place in Rabelais' novel. What does the carnivalesque demonstrate about the nature of folk culture? What role does humor play in the carnivalesque?

(see the answer keys)

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