Travesties 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. What does Joyce announce that he intends to do before leaving the room in this section?

2. Upon what does Tzara announce defiantly that he spits?

3. What news does Nadya deliver to Lenin in the beginning of the play?

4. To what symbol of nonviolence does Carr compare Switzerland in his monologue?

5. What type of poem does Lenin declaim at the end of the first scene of the play?

Short Essay Questions

1. What caveat does Cecily have for loving Carr/Tristan?

2. How does Bennett become an asset to Lenin?

3. How is Lenin devastated and frustrated listening to a Beethoven symphony?

4. How does Carr respond to Tzara's Dadaist sentiments?

5. What warning does Carr give Tzara regarding the Bolsheviks int his section?

6. How do the Zimmerwaldists plan to leave Switzerland?

7. Describe Henry Carr as he enters the play.

8. What does Lenin ask Nadya to do when he is imprisoned in St. Petersburg?

9. What parts of Henry Carr's story can be definitively believed by the audience?

10. What is Lenin's ill-fated plan to leave Switzerland?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay about the character of James Joyce. He is one of the most enigmatic characters in the play, but he has one of the deepest verifiable relationships with Henry Carr. The first half of the essay should concern his art. How does Ulysses fulfill a primal need that he has for literature? What special significance does he assign to the character of Odysseus? The second half should concern his attitude toward money. To what extent does indebtedness and miserliness plague his association with Carr? Is it possible that these attributes may be a creation of Carr the storyteller?

Essay Topic 2

The women of Travesties serve an interesting purpose in the play. They almost serve as counter-balances to the men that court them, elucidating the underpinnings of their beliefs and the truth of their assertions. Write an essay about the women in the play in three parts:

Part 1) Examine the courtship between Gwen and Tzara. How does she challenge him to defend his Dada poetry in a way no one else does? How does he prove the worth of his art in this sequence?

Part 2) Nadya narrates much of the second act of the play. What new information regarding Lenin's attitude toward art does she provide? How does this create a more vibrant portrait of the revolutionary politician?

Part 3) Throughout the play, Henry Carr's assertions seem more than a little suspect. What new information does Old Cecily provide at the end of the play? Does she seem a more reliable narrator than Carr?

Essay Topic 3

In Travesties, the setting of Zurich is a central component of the story, creating a unique combination of peace and fervor. Write an essay about the role of Zurich in the play in three parts:

Part 1) At the beginning of the play Henry Carr speaks glowingly of life in Switzerland during the war. What does he love in particular about it? How is it a succor for someone who has been in the trenches?

Part 2) Joyce and Tzara both comment that Zurich has become the artistic center of Europe. What has brought so many creative souls to the city? What new and old art is being created?

Part 3) Zurich is also the home of political exiles. Describe the exiled leftist Russian government that holds regular gatherings in Switzerland. How do they plan the revolution from their exiled post?

(see the answer keys)

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