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. For what purpose does Joyce say he needs money from Carr?

2. What objects are inadvertently interposed int he beginning of the play?

3. In mistakenly recalling Lenin's appearance, what regional appearance does Carr say he bears?

4. Where is Joyce buried at the time thhat the Old Carr speaks in this section?

5. When Bennett states that a social revolution has occurred in Russia, what activity does Carr assume this involves?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. Describe Joyce's defense of classical literature.

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

6. How did Tristan Tzara discover the word Dada?

7. Describe Lenin's aversion to career artists.

8. Why does Tzara distrust beauty and reason?

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

10. What warning does Carr give Tzara regarding the Bolsheviks int his section?

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

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?

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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