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

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

3. What object does Nafisi refer to when she first describes the students in her study group?

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

5. Why does Nafisi's apartment lack matching furniture and fancy window dressings?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. Azin asks the group if a woman has the same right as a man to enjoy sex. Why does this question surprise the group?

7. How do the university officials react to Nafisi before and after her resignation?

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

9. Why does Nafisi believe the scene where Humbert picked up Lolita at summer camp is the heart of Nabokov's novel?

10. In Part 1, Chapter 18, the room where the class meets becomes a character. How does Nafisi describe the room?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"Reading Lolita in Tehran" is not told chronologically. The use of flashbacks and the telling of the story in segmented historical pieces distributed across multiple sections determines the shape for the novel. How does the element of time shape the reader's understanding of the memoir's major points? How does the element of time shape the reader's understanding of the characters Nafisi develops?

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

Throughout the memoir, Nafisi returns to the issue of wearing the veil. Write an essay that addresses Nafisi's feelings about the veil. What does the veil represent for Nafisi personally? What does it represent for her professionally? How is the veil used as a symbol in this book?

(see the answer keys)

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