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 do Ministry of Education officials ask the faculty at Nafisi's school if they thought they were in Switzerland?

2. What is Nafisi doing at the beginning of Chapter 11?

3. What type of author do the students seem most interested in studying?

4. Who is Negar?

5. Why does the male student have to meet with Nafisi separately?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What is the similarity between Lolita's past and the past of Nafisi's students?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nafisi opens the book by asking the reader to imagine the secret class. She ends the book by wondering if she imagined the magician. Throughout the memoir, she mentions imagination in connection to the Iranian regime, to the authors of the fictional novels she teaches, and in the lives of herself and her students. What is the role of imagination in "Reading Lolita in Tehran"? How do each of those characters (the regime, the authors, Nafisi, her students) view imagination?

Essay Topic 3

On Nafisi's first day of teaching at the University of Tehran, she asks the students what fiction should accomplish. Using examples from the text, write an essay comparing and contrasting the answer from the perspective of one of the students in Nafisi's student class and the answer from the perspective of Mr. Bahri of Mr. Nyazi.

(see the answer keys)

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