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. How does Nafisi introduce the reader to the students in her class?

2. What does Nassrin's mother's teaching symbolize?

3. How does Nafisi refer to her male acquaintance?

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

5. What is the dream Nafisi and her students share?

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 do Nafisi and her students feel so strongly about Nabokov and his works?

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. Why does Nafisi consider Humbert to be a seducer of the readers of "Lolita"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Nafisi is the narrator for the actions of herself, the regime, and her students throughout the book. What would a credible witness say about the actions of a totalitarian regime? Is Nafisi a credible reporter? Is her credibility complete or does it have obvious biases that challenge her credibility? Does her credibility remain the same throughout the book? What evidence within the book supports your claims?

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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