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 is the only driving force of war, according to Tzara?

2. According to Carr, what sensation is created by the many punctual clocks in Zurich?

3. From what object is Tzara drawing slips of paper in the beginning of the play?

4. What "modish novelty" does Carr disapprove of in Bennett (14)?

5. Citing Karl Marx in this section, Bennett states that there is no way for a country to transition seamlessly from autocracy to what?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Henry Carr as he enters the play.

2. What is Joyce's business at the house at the end of the play?

3. Describe Joyce's falling out with Carr.

4. Describe some examples of the aristocratic aloofness Carr displays int his section.

5. How does Bennett become an asset to Lenin?

6. How is Art created, from Tzara's point of view?

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

8. What is the last straw for Gwen and Cecily regarding Tzara and Carr?

9. What is the reason for Cecily's coming to Gwen's house?

10. Why does Cecily believe the British are unusually bumbling in their spying on Lenin?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Truth and confusion is a central theme of Travesties. The play itself is a story told by an elderly and senile man, and it examines the unlikeliness of ever knowing for certain with the truth of a story is. Write an essay about memory and confusion, focusing on three aspects of the play:

Part 1) This play opens and closes with monologues by Henry Carr, and throughout he interrupts the action to explain it and himself. What apologies and explanations does he make regarding his memory? At what points does he become defiant regarding the truth of his story?

Part 2) Throughout the play, Stoppard has what are called time slips, moments when the action repeats itself and changes slightly. What do these time slips reflect? When do they occur, and how do they change the meaning of much of the action?

Part 3) What, in the end, can the audience believe about Henry Carr's story? What assertions turn out to be completely false? What is Stoppard saying about the human inclination to self-mythologize?

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay about the character of Bennett. He is far an away the most cultivated and best-informed person in the play, but he is a manservant. Stoppard, in his cast notes, says that he should be "quite a weighty presence" (vii). What is Bennett's function int he script at the beginning of the play? How does Carr's leaving him in charge of the consulate affect Lenin's situation? What new revelations about his character are revealed in the final moments of the play?

Essay Topic 3

Tom Stoppard is a linguist, perhaps the most adventurous linguist of the modern theatre. Language plays a major part in Travesties, though the play is all in English. Write an essay analyzing the major forms the writing takes, focusing on four forms: Witty Farce, Docudrama, Modern Debate, and Limericks. When dos each form occur in the play? What characters or topics are invariably involved with each form? Does one form generally follow another?

(see the answer keys)

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