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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. Why are peasants not particularly dangerous, according to Milosz?
2. What was the title of Beta's first book?
3. In Russia, what organization did Gamma and several of his friends create?
4. As he got older, how did Gamma feel about his life?
5. In Chapter 5, how is Beta characterized?
Short Essay Questions
1. Milosz calls Beta's reaction to the concentration camp life sadistic. How is this true?
2. "Still, it was not easy to become a communist, for communism meant a complete revision of one's concepts of nationality " (pg. 147). How was this true?
3. Milosz states that the goals of the workers are far different from those of the state. How is this so?
4. Eventually Delta's poems became something of a dream, unreal. How was this inevitable?
5. How does the party's definition of a reactionary reduce him to a comic level?
6. Under communist rule, education is from a strictly materialistic view. Why is this necessary to maintain proper thought among the citizens?
7. Rather than blaming these four men for the choices they made, Milosz says they were slaves to history. How is this true?
8. How was Delta able to play the game that the center demanded of him--and be better at it?
9. How were Beta's stories a fitting insight into his nihilist worldview?
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
It would seem that the exciting and invigorating power of this participation in mass life springs from the feeling of potentiality, of constant unexpectedness, of a mystery one ever pursues" (66). How does this need, which springs up in aesthetic Ketman, drive a man's life? Party officials consider the need for strangeness a relic of the past, but how does this miss the truth of what's happening? What are the benefits of interacting within a bustling, changing environment?
Essay Topic 2
This question has been growing throughout the book: Why does Milosz write? As you answer, consider the writer's responsibility in the world, and the responsibility of a man who has witnessed great evil. Intellectually and ethically, did Milosz make the right choice to write what he saw?
Essay Topic 3
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?
This section contains 1,344 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)