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. The Ketman of revolutionary purity holds that a tyrant's reign may be justified in what circumstances?

2. What school of thought gave Alpha the tragic language he needed?

3. According to the center, contradictions ___________ in the minds of its citizens.

4. After the war, how was Alpha was received by Polish communists?

5. As seen in Chapter 2, how does the poet of a communist country write?

Short Essay Questions

1. "If something exists in one place, it will exist everywhere" (pg. 29). Why does the man in destroyed Warsaw believe this, and how does it affect his spirit?

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

3. If an artist disagrees with the dialectical method, he debates the question with a panel of Party authorities and always, undoubtedly loses. Why is this so?

4. Why does the man entering the gate of communism feel that he is doing something wrong?

5. How does Alpha's hunger for purity and strong heroic characters prepare the way for the New Faith? Could he have gone any other way?

6. 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?

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

8. What is the difference between Eastern and Western Communists?

9. Why is cosmopolitanism linked to nationalist concerns? What does the center gain by connecting these?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"The moment when bullets pierce the flesh is a moment of amazement for the body. Life and death mingle for a second..." (pg. 184). How accurate is this statement (written and read by people who have never experienced death)? How does this add to the reader's horror of these deaths?

Essay Topic 2

The book is fraught with nationalist tendencies, including the pride Milosz feels for his native city Vilna. What does this tell the reader about Milosz's idea of place? How does he act on (or, conversely, react to) these national tendencies? In the end, is he loyal to Poland?

Essay Topic 3

Through Party propaganda and education, communism suppresses man's ability to think for himself. How do the people presented in The Captive Mind either fight or accept this suppression? Consider only the main subjects of the book, including their writing for the underground or for the party.

(see the answer keys)

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