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. What two colors does Carr theorize that Joyce's smoking jacket might have been?

3. What sound effect does Stoppard recommend to accompany time slips in the play?

4. Which of the following is not a term that Carr shouts at Tzara when he loses his temper in this section?

5. What precious stone is in Carr's preferred studs?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the real reason for Tzara's visit?

2. What confusion exist between Tzara and Carr regarding the reasoning behind the war?

3. In what terms does Carr describe Switzerland in this section?

4. What lie does Carr argue is the artist's great achievement?

5. How does Bennett describe Tzara?

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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