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. What does Nafisi see reflected in the mirror?

2. What does the class strive to do in their study of literature?

3. Why are Manna's friends reprimanded by guards?

4. Where does Nafisi write her class notes?

5. When the intruders enter Nafisi's house, what happens?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. Why do Mitra and the other students find the Thursday study group to be significant?

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

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

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

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

9. Why does Nafisi include Part 1, Chapter 12 in her memoir?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

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

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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