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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 light of Beta's poetry, how does Milosz treat the modern artist's potential?
2. During Gamma's youth, Poland gradually separated along what lines?
3. As detailed in Chapter 6, what was the first maxim of the communist rule as it established power in a newly-conquered country?
4. As the Polish fought the Germans for control of Warsaw near the end of the war, how did a few people manage to survive?
5. Because he believed in earthly salvation, what did Beta argue?
Short Essay Questions
1. Why is Gamma called "the slave of history"? Whose interests does he serve?
2. How was Delta able to play the game that the center demanded of him--and be better at it?
3. Milosz calls Beta's reaction to the concentration camp life sadistic. How is this true?
4. How are the peasants, in several ways, the most helpless class of people?
5. Under communist rule, education is from a strictly materialistic view. Why is this necessary to maintain proper thought among the citizens?
6. Delta, in wandering the roads in France, met people from many different nations. How did this universal migration prepare the way even more for communist rule?
7. 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?
8. Gamma did not even try to save his family when they were deported to Siberia. How is this a vivid example of the communist attitude toward individual lives?
9. Why does Milosz go to such pains to describe Gamma, when the other writers found in his book are given only a few sentences of description?
10. How were Beta and the people of his generation fallen into dark hopelessness?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
Throughout the book, the converts to communism decry the evils of capitalism, even going so far as to say capitalism led directly to Hitlerism (pg. 128, Beta's assertion). Is this necessarily true? If communism leads, as history has proven, to a dictatorship, then where does capitalism lead?
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
The book is fraught with nationalist tendencies, including the pride Milosz feels for his native city Vilna. What does this tell the reader about Milosz's idea of place? How does he act on (or, conversely, react to) these national tendencies? In the end, is he loyal to Poland?
This section contains 1,310 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)