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. Due to a clerical error on his birth certificate, what if James Joyce's legal middle name?

2. For what occasion is Carr dressing in this section?

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

4. What does Bennett think are the odds against Lenin prevailing in Russia?

5. According to Marx's theories, what must the Marxist embrace temporarily in order to eventually have a proletarian state?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. What caveat does Gwen give in accepting Tzara's proposal?

7. Describe Carr's obsession with clothing.

8. In what way has Carr's manner of study impeded his learning?

9. Describe Lenin's aversion to career artists.

10. Why is Carr livid over Joyce's request for 25 francs in ticket sales?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Throughout the play cordial, Wilde-esque conversations give way to bouts of unrestrained antipathy between characters. Write an essay about the breaking of the formal shell in the play, focusing on three such outbursts:

Part 1) What is the breaking point for Henry Carr when discussing art with Tristan Tzara in their first conversation of the play? How is Dada so offensive to him? What does Tzara say about the war that infuriates him?

Part 2) Why does Tzara think that Joyce is patronizing him when they discuss Dada in Act 1? How do they differ in their view of classical archetypes in art and literature?

Part 3) Examine the library scene between Cecily and Carr at the beginning of Act 2. What is Cecily's breaking point in discussing Marxism? What patronizing statement does Carr make that sets her off?

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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