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

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

3. During World War II, how did the nearness of death affect the Poles' lives?

4. According to Milosz, nations which have recently come under communist rule feel excitement at first, and then feel what emotion?

5. Citizens of communist countries become adept in what skill, according to Milosz?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. "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?

4. Why, according to party policy, can there be no contradictions in the minds of Soviet citizens?

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

6. 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?

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

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

9. Is Ketman necessary to the citizen of the New Faith? Why?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Milosz repeatedly returns to the idea that religion is dead. Is this true? If so, how is it replaced in modern society? Keep in mind his argument that man craves the mysterious, and so religion is necessarily replaced.

Essay Topic 3

Milosz begins Chapter 4 by saying that the ethical and moral considerations that helped man make decisions in the past have become merely theoretical, inconsequential in the face of changes. What does this say about the changes brought on Eastern Europe from the mid-1930s onward? Given what you know of European history, how were these changes radically different from anything that had come before?

(see the answer keys)

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