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. Where does Nafisi write her class notes?

2. What happens to the everyday lives of Nafisi and her students as a result of the secret class?

3. Who is the villain in "Lolita"?

4. How did Nafisi learn of her father's arrest?

5. Nassrin describes herself as being in the middle of what for her whole life?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Why does Nafisi ask her children about their memories of Iran?

4. What is the role of literature in Part 1, Chapter 20?

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

6. What is the purpose of the dreams that Nafisi describes?

7. Why does Nafisi agree with Nabokov's statement that every great novel is a fairy tale?

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

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

10. According to Vera Nabokov, what is the beauty in "Lolita" and why is it missed by critics?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Nafisi presents several male students as passionate about the values of the Islamist Republic of Iran. In what ways are Mr. Bahri, Mr. Nyazi, and Mr. Ghomi similar? In what ways are they different? Which one of those students is portrayed as being in closest agreement with the regime? What evidence supports your choice?

Essay Topic 2

"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?

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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