Reading Lolita in Tehran, A Memoir in Books Test | Final 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. According to Zarrin, when is a novel moral?

2. How does Nafisi describe the Iranian perception of America?

3. What does Nafisi describe as "the most unforgivable crime in fiction"?

4. In Part 4, Chapter 24, why do the girls have to sit in the back room of the restaurant?

5. Where is the narrator at the beginning of the first chapter in Part II?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Nassrin mean when she talks about the "ordeal of freedom" in Part 4, Chapter 20?

2. What does Nafisi do during her time as a member of the Iranian Student Movement?

3. How are Mr. Ghoni's statements about "Daisy Miller" in Part 3, Chapter 15, similar to Mr. Nyazi's statements in Part 3, Chapters 17 and 18, about "The Great Gatsby"?

4. Why does Nafisi call Catherine in "Washington Square" the inverse of our ideas about what a heroine should be?

5. Why does Nafisi get upset with students in her class at Alzahrah University (Part 3, Chapter 25)?

6. Why does Nafisi describe herself as becoming irrelevant?

7. What does the Islamist Iranian regime have in common with the theme of Fitzgerald's novel "The Great Gatsby"?

8. Why does Nafisi focus on Azin's painted fingernails?

9. Nafisi first mentions the magician in Part 1, Chapter 10. Why does she wait until Part 2, Chapter 20, to describe him more fully?

10. Why does a university staff member describe the Ayatollah's funeral as an event?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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

Nafisi addresses disappearance and absence as a major theme in the book. Write an essay that examines the issues of disappearance and absence in the novels Nafisi teaches, in the lives of her students, and in Nafisi's own life, both personally and professionally.

(see the answer keys)

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