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

2. During his introduction in the beginning of this section, what is the only thing that Carr says he knows of Joyce?

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

4. What leader does Lenin state that he particularly distrusts in this section?

5. What does Carr imagine Cecily doing as she berates him at the end of this section?

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

Lenin is more object than subject in Travesties. He is a commodity desired and detested severally through the play. Write an essay about his character. The first half of this essay should deal primarily with other characters' attitudes toward him. Why is he lionized by some and feared by others? How does his attempt to depart Switzerland force certain characters into awkward positions? The second half should deal with his personality and soul as described by Nadya. How does Lenin view the world, and how does this view lend itself to the embracing of Marxism?

Essay Topic 3

Tristan Tzara's hat is a central symbol of the play. From it is drawn, and its very significance seems to mystify Gwendolen and Henry Carr and James Joyce. Write an essay about the significance of the hat as a symbol. Who handles it besides Tzara and what surprises emerge from it? What role does it play in Tristan's wooing of Gwendolen? What does it represent in the world of the play?

(see the answer keys)

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