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 does Nafisi return to the two photographs of her students in Chapter 7?

2. Why is Mashid jailed?

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

4. How do the students get enough copies of "Lolita" to study?

5. What symbol does Nafisi think of when she thinks of Lolita?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. Why does Nafisi refer to two photographs in the first chapter?

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

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

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 Part 3, Chapter 18, Nafisi describes a "perfectly equipped failure." In Part 3, Chapter 26, Nafisi provides characteristics of a traditional heroine. Using the descriptions and characteristics provided in these chapters, write an essay that addresses the following questions:

1) Would Laleh be considered a heroine or a perfectly equipped failure?

2) Would Razieh be considered a heroine or a perfectly equipped failure?

3) Which does Nafisi consider more worthy of admiration, a heroine or a perfectly equipped failure?

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

Several times Nafisi refers to the individual rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Write an essay that focuses on one of those rights. How is that right viewed by the Islamist Iranian Republic? How is that right portrayed in the literature Nafisi teaches? What does Nafisi do to assert her rights?

(see the answer keys)

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