The Captive Mind 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. In Witkiewicz's novel, the characters ultimately become:

2. The atmosphere in a collective society is one of what?

3. Milosz asserts that the man of the New Faith has the greatest fear of what action?

4. In Witkeiwicz's novel, if man is attuned to the absurd, what does he see?

5. In Milosz's experience, how does the East view everything from the West?

Short Essay Questions

1. The pill takes away man's metaphysical concerns--why is this significant?

2. When the Nazis invaded Warsaw, every man quickly changed his view of the world. Rather than reporting a corpse lying in the gutter, he passes quietly on. What does this say about man's state of mind then?

3. As the new way comes into power, it cannot eradicate the old way all at once. Why not?

4. Why is the Ketman of revolutionary purity the most rare form of Ketman?

5. How does national Ketman satisfy, as much as possible, the nationalist leanings in a man? Why is this an important Ketman?

6. Why is it important that man not only be free from something but also for something?

7. Why does the Eastern communist often call the West stupid?

8. Why, in the end, could Alpha make only one decision about joining the party?

9. The Red Army had no reason to help Warsaw in its battle against the Nazis. Why was this true, and how did it set the stage for the new communist government?

10. Several times, Milosz describes bombed Warsaw as the cratered moon. How is this significant?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What is the relationship between Western and Eastern communism? How do the citizens of each sphere think about and react to each other? Find specific examples of their current interactions, and project the outcome of these to the future. Will they always look at the world through such disparate viewpoints?

Essay Topic 2

Milosz called Beta's war stories terrifying because they were told simply and truthfully, almost brutally. How is it possible to tell such stories with so little emotion? To what degree is empathy a necessary quality of stories? Is it possible for the reader, removed by many decades and a culture, to experience a similar lack of sympathy?

Essay Topic 3

This question has been growing throughout the book: Why does Milosz write? As you answer, consider the writer's responsibility in the world, and the responsibility of a man who has witnessed great evil. Intellectually and ethically, did Milosz make the right choice to write what he saw?

(see the answer keys)

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