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

2. In Milosz's experience, how does a man change under communist rule?

3. Taking joy that one's life occurs within the stream of life is what type of Ketman?

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

5. According to Chapter 4, as the Polish uprising fought the Nazis for control of Warsaw, what did the Red Army do?

Short Essay Questions

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

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. Although only a couple presses were kept intact, in order to print Nazi propaganda, the underground writing flourished. Why?

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

5. From several references to Tito throughout Chapters 2 and 3, what can the reader infer about him? What does the center gain by making an example of him?

6. .How did Alpha become a more religious writer when he turned away from Christianity?

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

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

9. Why does man find such joy in the "collective warmth" of which Milosz speaks?

10. What is historic fatalism and how does it affect even a man's most personal interactions?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The reader sees, through many examples, that communism seeks to further its rule at all cost, even if that cost be millions of lives. Is this necessary for the continuance of communism, or is there another way? To what extent should a government assert itself on the lives of its citizens in order to survive?

Essay Topic 2

"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 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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