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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. Because he believed in earthly salvation, what did Beta argue?
2. Often when Milosz sees women walking through the streets of Paris, what does he remember?
3. When do Beta's stories show that people are good?
4. Why did Beta's writing assert that communism was salvation?
5. In Chapter 8, Milosz explains that the totalitarian states places such emotional strain on its citizens that what occurs?
Short Essay Questions
1. How did Beta's circumstances lead him to a poetry that constantly moved? Why was it restless?
2. Under communist rule, education is from a strictly materialistic view. Why is this necessary to maintain proper thought among the citizens?
3. "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?
4. Milosz states that the goals of the workers are far different from those of the state. How is this so?
5. 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?
6. Why is Gamma called "the slave of history"? Whose interests does he serve?
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. 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?
9. How could Delta, who was not racist, write such violently anti-Semitic material?
10. Milosz calls Beta's reaction to the concentration camp life sadistic. How is this true?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
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 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
Milosz asserts that the way to rule a nation's mind is through the word. Is this true or are there other factors equally important? Given what he says about both Nazi and communist controls over the printed word, how was this played out in Poland?
This section contains 1,341 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)