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 masterwork is Joyce in the process of write when he and Carr are acquainted?

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

3. What two items are mentioned several times in this section as part of a time slip?

4. According to Carr, what was always apparent in Joyce's personality?

5. Whose dropped writings does Joyce pick up in the first scene of the play?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What quandary is Carr facing in this section?

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

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

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

6. What apologia does Henry Carr make regarding his memory?

7. Describe the scene at the beginning of the play.

8. How does Henry Carr change at the end of his monologue?

9. Why does Carr bring up Bennett's logbook in this section?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay about the character of James Joyce. He is one of the most enigmatic characters in the play, but he has one of the deepest verifiable relationships with Henry Carr. The first half of the essay should concern his art. How does Ulysses fulfill a primal need that he has for literature? What special significance does he assign to the character of Odysseus? The second half should concern his attitude toward money. To what extent does indebtedness and miserliness plague his association with Carr? Is it possible that these attributes may be a creation of Carr the storyteller?

Essay Topic 2

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?

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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