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. At the beginning of this section, what does Carr tell Bennett is completely absent from Switzerland?

2. In this section Carr comments that is entirely reasonable for the exploited classes of Russia to turn against whom?

3. Which character is unassisted at the beginning of Act 1?

4. According to the Bolsheviks, how long should the bourgeois-capitalist democracy last in Russia?

5. What masterwork is Joyce in the process of write when he and Carr are acquainted?

Short Essay Questions

1. What request is made of Carr by the British government at the end of the scene?

2. How does Joyce convince Carr to take the role of Algernon?

3. What is the purpose of Gwen and Joyce's visit in the limerick scene?

4. How do Gwendolen and Cecily mishandle their folders in the beginning of the play?

5. How does Gwen react to Tzara's poem?

6. What ridiculous statement does Old Carr make about his connection to Lenin?

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

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

9. How does Joyce explain his decision to produce The Importance of Being Earnest?

10. How does Henry Carr change at the end of his monologue?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

As the Revolution in St. Petersburg heats up and the Zimmerwaldists of Switzerland begin to plan their return to Russia, the characters of the play begin to debate how the scenarios delineated by Marx can be realized in the world. Write an essay charting these debates, focusing on Bennett's explanation of Marxism and Cecily's debate with Carr regarding its legitimacy. How does the Russian Revolution conform to the path dictated by Marx? What short cuts are being taken? What is Lenin's importance in the process, according to the theory?

Essay Topic 3

In the confusion and madness of 1917, the characters of Travesties seem to find their only solace in art. Write an essay examining art as a constant, an anchor that secures individuals buffeted by war and revolution. Focusing on three endeavors in the play, describe the character attitude toward them. Why do they undertake them? What importance do they serve in the mad world of the play?

Part 1) Tristan Tzara and his poetry.

Part 2) James Joyce and Ulysses.

Part 3) Henry Carr and The Importance of Being Earnest?

(see the answer keys)

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