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. What does Nafisi's study group conclude about "Lolita"?

2. How does Nafisi structure the first class sessions?

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

4. What is the main reason for Nafisi's resignation from the University of Tehran?

5. What does Nafisi consider to be the first lesson in democracy?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Nassrin say she has been caught in the middle of tradition and change her entire life?

2. What does the magician do with the photographs Nafisi shows him?

3. How is the generation of Nafisi's students different from the generation of Nafisi and her peers?

4. Why does Nafisi describe the three types of women portrayed in "A Thousand and One Nights"?

5. Why is it difficult to find a copy of "Lolita" in Tehran?

6. Why do the magician and Nafisi enjoy each other's company so much?

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

8. What factors cause Nafisi to resign from her position at the university?

9. According to Nafisi, what is life like for a "normal Iranian citizen"?

10. Why does Nafisi include Part 1, Chapter 12 in her memoir?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In "Reading Lolita in Tehran," the novels and their authors take on the role of characters, contributing to the storyline, advancing the plot, and interacting with the other characters (Nafisi and her students). Choose one of the major novels ("Lolita," "The Great Gatsby") or one of the major authors (James, Austen) and describe how Nafisi treats the book or writer as a character in the memoir.

Essay Topic 2

America is presented as both reality and symbol, as a concept and a country. Describe the various ways America is interpreted and understood by those in Nafisi's classes and the Iranian government. How do those interpretations compare to Nafisi's personal memories and descriptions of America? What elements of America are emphasized? What elements of America are omitted? Why are there omissions?

Essay Topic 3

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

(see the answer keys)

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