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 the 1940s, once they were freed of the past, how did the Eastern countries think?

2. Milosz says that an individual has no more significance to the muse of history than what object?

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

4. In what city did Alpha the Moralist live?

5. When Alpha and Milosz stumbled on a board with the painted words "Lieutenant Zbyszek's road of suffering," what did they meditate on?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is communism's goal for the relationship between the present and the past?

2. Under communist rule, education is from a strictly materialistic view. Why is this necessary to maintain proper thought among the citizens?

3. Beta saw life only in terms of society rather than in terms of individual man. How was this his downfall?

4. How did Beta's circumstances lead him to a poetry that constantly moved? Why was it restless?

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

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

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

8. In Chapter VIII, Milosz takes on the tone of a communist to describe the evils of the various classes. How is this more powerful than a mere description?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Why is art outside the public mind important? Milosz says that when man thinks only in the collective body, he can no longer think other than what is necessary. In other words, personal observations and thoughts are cut off. Why, then, does he place such importance on creating art other than what is strictly necessary?

Essay Topic 2

The West, in not taking advantage of every artist, wastes a huge amount of talent. Is the East's method better or worse? Is there an ideal system in which exceptional artists are appreciated without conforming to a particular method?

Essay Topic 3

Given the examples only of these four men, what is your impression of communism? Is it possible to get a good idea of both communist ideals and its reality by reading about their lives? Use examples from their chapters to illustrate your thoughts.

(see the answer keys)

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