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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. By his own estimation, what makes Tzara an artist?
2. What does Carr wish to match in choosing a red cravat?
3. What article of clothing does Carr mention is the focus of the lawsuit between Joyce and him?
4. Which of the following Dada artists in not mentioned by mentioned by Carr in his monologue?
5. At the beginning of this section, what does Carr tell Bennett is completely absent from Switzerland?
Short Essay Questions
1. What does Lenin ask Nadya to do when he is imprisoned in St. Petersburg?
2. How do Cecil and Gwen realize that they are both engaged to Tzara?
3. How is Lenin devastated and frustrated listening to a Beethoven symphony?
4. What is the purpose of Gwen and Joyce's visit in the limerick scene?
5. Why does Cecily believe the British are unusually bumbling in their spying on Lenin?
6. What is the reason for Cecily's coming to Gwen's house?
7. How does Carr explain Tzara's appearance?
8. What are time slips?
9. What questions does Carr attempt to answer regarding Dada?
10. What caveat does Cecily have for loving Carr/Tristan?
Essay Topic 1
Lenin is more object than subject in Travesties. He is a commodity desired and detested severally through the play. Write an essay about his character. The first half of this essay should deal primarily with other characters' attitudes toward him. Why is he lionized by some and feared by others? How does his attempt to depart Switzerland force certain characters into awkward positions? The second half should deal with his personality and soul as described by Nadya. How does Lenin view the world, and how does this view lend itself to the embracing of Marxism?
Essay Topic 2
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 3
Stoppard's plays often involve large personalities with different world-views clashing regarding some major topic. In Travesties, the topic is revolution and art. Write an essay on three characters and how they represent different views of these subjects:
Part 1) Henry Carr represents the past, a Victorian ideal. How does he relate to the other characters int he play? How does his obsession with clothing and order represent a style that is going out of fashion?
Part 2) James Joyce is perhaps the most of-the-moment in 1917. To what extend has he reconciled his love for the classical with the acknowledgment that the world is shifting? How is Ulysses a physical representation of this?
Part 3) Tristan Tzara wants to throw away everything that has come before, reject the old forms. How is he the most abrasive of characters on the stage? In what ways are all other characters put off by him?
This section contains 2,940 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)