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. Milosz illustrates Ketman with the example of what person?

2. How does the Eastern communist regard everything from the West?

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

4. What do the Party dialecticians assert about art?

5. Alpha's response to the Nazis' violent anti-Semitism was what emotion?

Short Essay Questions

1. What advantages does the Center gain with the idea of "cosmopolitanism"?

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

3. What significance is there in the fact that Murti-Bing comes in pill form?

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

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

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

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

8. "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?

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

10. The East uses talented artists to their full ability, yet sometimes with mediocre results. Why does this happen?

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

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

Several people in The Captive Mind believe that life without religion, philosophy, and art is not worth living. Is this true? Are there necessary things which this list does not include or, conversely, is the list too long? Be sure to define the terms clearly (e.g., is art a painting hung on the wall, or is it the beauty found throughout the world?)

(see the answer keys)

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