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

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

3. Which of the following locations is not mentioned by Carr as he describes the horrors of the First World War?

4. What is the topic of Lenin's new book?

5. Which character shushes the other characters onstage in the first scene of the play?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Carr's opinion of Joyce seems to change as he sums up the writer's character in his monologue?

2. How did Tristan Tzara discover the word Dada?

3. Why does Tzara have two names?

4. How does Carr incorrectly describe Lenin in this monologue?

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

6. What opinion do the Bolsheviks have regarding bourgeois-capitalist democracy in Russia?

7. What is Henry Carr's relationship to James Joyce?

8. What are time slips?

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

10. What final words of wisdom does Carr offer at the end of the play?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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

Tristan Tzara is the contrarian of Travesties. He seems to lash out at all set values, just as Dada as a movement lashed out at accepted artistic norms. Focusing on his defamation of beauty, reason, and causality, write an essay about the character of Tzara. Why does he lash out at both Joyce and Carr? How does he connect the violence of the First World War to the art that came before Dada? Why, in the end, is he able to woo Gwendolen?

(see the answer keys)

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