Travesties Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What problematic attribute makes finding two Swedes for Lenin particularly difficult?

2. According to Carr, what likely happened around the same time as Das Kapital was published?

3. How does Carr describe his trial against Joyce at the end of Act 1?

4. What is the word on the first strip of paper that Tzara draws for Gwen's poem?

5. When Cecily finally lashes out at Carr, she says Marx warns the worker against all of the following groups but which?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Travesties is a homage and subversion of Oscar Wilde's comedy of manners The Importance of Being Earnest. He steals certain characters and scenes outright and transposes them to a different era. Write an essay about the connection between these two plays in three parts:

Part 1) The two love interests in The Importance of Being Earnest are also called Cecily and Gwendolen. They, too, have odd caveats for their love. What conditions do the two women give in this play regarding their hearts and how do they reflect a world in flux?

Part 2) Mistaken identity plays a major role in Wilde's farce like in Stoppard's. Why do characters in Travesties assume false identities? What is the meaning of the switched folders? How do both represent something more political than personal?

Part 3) Earnest is a product of the Victorian Era, an era of certitude and stricture. Travesties transposes this story to the Edwardian era, when certainty died in the trenches. How does Stoppard undermine Wilde's pat farce injecting it with the madness of the First World War?

Essay Topic 2

The dynamic between Age and Youth is a central conflict in Travesties. Write an essay about this dynamic. The first half of this essay should focus on the framing device of Old Carr. How are his senility and codified prejudices juxtaposed with the dynamism of Zurich in 1917? The second half of the essay should deal with the idea of the older Victorian era culture giving way to the more critical and free-form culture of Tzara and Joyce in 1917. How is this dynamic dramatized throughout the play?

Essay Topic 3

In Travesties, the personal lives of the characters are constantly being affected by the realities of external political situation. Write an essay about the role of the larger political scene on the events of the play, in three parts:

Part 1) Henry Carr is stationed at the British Consulate in Zurich. How does he arrive there? How does his experience with the war color his attitude toward Zurich? How do his objectives change do to telegrams form London?

Part 2) Tristam Tzara constantly seems at war with convention. How is his work a direct reaction against outside political forces? What are his opinions regarding the war and Russian Bolshevism?

Part 3) Lenin and Nadya's lives are always affected by the events of Russia. What central event in Russia changes their lives in Switzerland, and how do they react to it? To what extent is Lenin never really living in Zurich?

(see the answer keys)

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