Reading Lolita in Tehran, A Memoir in Books 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. Nassrin describes herself as being in the middle of what for her whole life?

2. What would happen if the "Blood of God" militia saw a girl with nail polish or a strand of loose hair?

3. Chapter 15 presents a clear parallel between the character of Humbert and which group of people?

4. Why are Nafisi and her students in the room?

5. What causes Manna and Nima to fall in love?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Nassrin mean when she talks about the "ordeal of freedom" in Part 4, Chapter 20?

2. Why does Nafisi refer to two photographs in the first chapter?

3. How is Professor X's method of teaching literature different than Nafisi's method of teaching literature?

4. Why does Nafisi call Catherine in "Washington Square" the inverse of our ideas about what a heroine should be?

5. What happens to disrupt the class discussion in Chapter 17?

6. Why does the magician tell Nafisi to stop blaming the Islamic Republic for all her problems?

7. How does the Iranian regime expect women to behave on the streets of Tehran?

8. In Part 3, Chapter 14, why does Nafisi describe her students in such detail?

9. How has Miss Ruhi changed since her introduction in Part 3, Chapter 14?

10. Why is there a difference between the students' level of comfort in talking about themselves and their level of comfort in discussing the novels?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

In Section I, Chapter 4, Mahsid says "everyday life does not have fewer horrors than prison." Choose 3 characters from the book and write an essay that illustrates the truthfulness or untruthfulness of this statement from each of their perspectives. What are their everyday horrors? How do these characters respond to them?

Essay Topic 2

In his "Letter from the Birmingham Jail (April 1963)," Martin Luther King, Jr. responded to critics who called him an extremist by pointing out examples of what he called extremist behavior by famous political and religious figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Jesus. King challenged the notion that "extremist" was a negative behavior, and stated that "the question is not whether we will be extremist but what kind of extremist will we be."

Choose 3 of the characters listed below. Provide examples of how they are portrayed as extremists in the book. Would the character have the same perspective on their behavior as the author? If not, would the character see himself or herself as an extremist? Would they consider being an extremist to be a positive or a negative characteristic?

~ Nafisi

~ The magician

~ Mr. Bahri

~ Mr. Nyazi

~ The Iranian Government

~ Nafisi's students in the study group

Essay Topic 3

"Reading Lolita in Tehran" centers around literature, a written form of art. Choose another art form (dance, music, visual art) and discuss the use of that art form in all four sections of the book. What is the role or roles of art in the Iranian Islamic Republic? What role or roles does art play in the fictional works Nafisi teaches? What role or roles does art play in the life of Nafisi? In the lives of her students?

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