The Joke Test | Mid-Book 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. At the beginning of the novel, how long has the narrator been away from his home?

2. How does Ludvik describe himself at university, in his second year?

3. Who is the narrator of the part two?

4. Though Ludvik claims to not be a big lover of poetry, he carried three books of poetry with him. Who was the poet that authored these books?

5. Ludvik decides to leave his hotel shortly after arriving for the first time. What does he want to do?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Ludvik describe Kostka?

2. What makes Kostka afraid of women?

3. How does Ludvik find out the identity of the woman who shaved him?

4. Describe Jaroslav's house.

5. What were the common criticisms given to students at University in the Party? Ludvik describes them as "seeds" that all the students carried with them, to be used against themselves at a moment's notice.

6. Describe the story of the dwarfs Ludvik told Marketa.

7. After Marketa and Ludvik speak candidly about the postcard, Ludvik suggests he could win Marketa despite everything. How, and what, does he do?

8. How does Ludvik's memory of Helena differ from Helena in reality, upon their meeting in Moravia?

9. Describe Moravia as Ludvik sees it upon his return at the beginning of "The Joke".

10. What event called Kostka's Christianity into question by the administration at the University?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What major event ends the novel "The Joke", and what does it symbolize?

Essay Topic 2

What is the joke, following the title of this book? Are there more than one? Compare and contrast.

Essay Topic 3

Describe the time Ludvik spent in Ostrava. How was he as a person before he went? What major events happened there? How did he change?

(see the answer keys)

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