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. According to several examples from Eastern history, how is Ketman a way of living?

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

3. Those who assert that their work is most important, rather than the ends and benefactors of the work, are following which Ketman?

4. As far as man's preferences in Western art and literature, what aspect does Milosz refer to?

5. In seeking a strong heroic element, what character/s did Alpha's second novel choose?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does aesthetic Ketman flourish, when nothing of the sort is necessary in other countries?

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

3. Although human interaction is often characterized by some degree of acting, how do Eastern communists take this to an extreme? How does this affect them?

4. 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?

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

6. How does Ketman create pride in the man who practices it?

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

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

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

Beta's stories portray man as an animal, barely held in check by the restraints of civilization. How is this demonstrated in Poland during World War II? Given the progression of Poland through capitalism, Nazism, and communism, was man's good or animal side stronger? Which one triumphed? Also, use examples from the book of people acting out of goodness.

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

In different ways, the Polish people learned to contain and even condense their emotions, letting only the most elemental emotions show. What does this say about man's ability to survive difficult times? To what extent were the people reduced to the physiological level of hunted animals? Use examples from the book to show how emotions were stripped down to their most basic level.

(see the answer keys)

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