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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. What was the title of Beta's first book?
2. What was the end result of Gamma's poetry?
3. As the NKVD began mass deportation, how did Gamma write communist propaganda?
4. How did Delta return to his wife in Poland?
5. As Beta relates, when Greek prisoners cannot march because they are too weak, how are they first punished?
Short Essay Questions
1. Why is Gamma called "the slave of history"? Whose interests does he serve?
2. 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?
3. Rather than blaming these four men for the choices they made, Milosz says they were slaves to history. How is this true?
4. Milosz calls Beta's reaction to the concentration camp life sadistic. How is this true?
5. 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?
6. Milosz states that the goals of the workers are far different from those of the state. How is this so?
7. Milosz opens Chapter VI with a description of Vilna as it existed during his childhood. Is this simply to introduce Gamma or is there another reason?
8. Beta saw life only in terms of society rather than in terms of individual man. How was this his downfall?
9. How were Beta's stories a fitting insight into his nihilist worldview?
10. Eventually Delta's poems became something of a dream, unreal. How was this inevitable?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
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 2
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?
Essay Topic 3
Though many human interactions are characterized by some degree of acting, the citizens of Soviet countries are forced to take this to an extreme. What does this tell us about the relationship between communist ideals and the individual? What should the role of government be in an individual's life? To what degree is this a perversion of how it should be? Or is this justified in the name of communist ideals?
This section contains 1,277 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)