The Captive Mind Test | Final 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 man is faced with constant death and when life seems meaningless, how does dialectical materialism seem?

2. What was the title of Beta's first book?

3. As the NKVD began mass deportation, how did Gamma write communist propaganda?

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. When Delta's writing no longer pleased the party, what happened?

Short Essay Questions

1. Milosz writes that Delta could not (or would not) distinguish between truth and fable, even in his personal life. Is this the kind of mind the Party would have wanted?

2. Nearly six years of Nazi rule had radically changed people's ideas of private property. Did this help or harm the communist idea of common property?

3. How could Delta, who was not racist, write such violently anti-Semitic material?

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

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

6. Eventually Delta's poems became something of a dream, unreal. How was this inevitable?

7. Milosz calls Beta's reaction to the concentration camp life sadistic. How is this true?

8. Beta's anger toward mankind became directed toward a fear of self-deception. How did this happen?

9. 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?

10. Rather than blaming these four men for the choices they made, Milosz says they were slaves to history. How is this true?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 3

"The moment when bullets pierce the flesh is a moment of amazement for the body. Life and death mingle for a second..." (pg. 184). How accurate is this statement (written and read by people who have never experienced death)? How does this add to the reader's horror of these deaths?

(see the answer keys)

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