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. According to Cecily, what is the sole purpose of art?

2. In this section, Lenin proclaims that no freedom can be achieved in a society based on what?

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

4. What does Lenin dislike about the staging of a Dickens tale?

5. According to Tzara, Huelsenbeck wanted to connect Dadaism to what other movement?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Truth and confusion is a central theme of Travesties. The play itself is a story told by an elderly and senile man, and it examines the unlikeliness of ever knowing for certain with the truth of a story is. Write an essay about memory and confusion, focusing on three aspects of the play:

Part 1) This play opens and closes with monologues by Henry Carr, and throughout he interrupts the action to explain it and himself. What apologies and explanations does he make regarding his memory? At what points does he become defiant regarding the truth of his story?

Part 2) Throughout the play, Stoppard has what are called time slips, moments when the action repeats itself and changes slightly. What do these time slips reflect? When do they occur, and how do they change the meaning of much of the action?

Part 3) What, in the end, can the audience believe about Henry Carr's story? What assertions turn out to be completely false? What is Stoppard saying about the human inclination to self-mythologize?

Essay Topic 2

The central story of Travesties is a love story involving two couples, but it is driven in large part by the British desire to keep tabs on Lenin. Write an essay about Carr's mission to prevent Lenin's passage into Russia. How does he initially react to the assignment as related and elucidated by Bennett? Why does it bring him into contact with Cecily? In the end, why does Carr have such difficulty following through with his assignment?

Essay Topic 3

The women of Travesties serve an interesting purpose in the play. They almost serve as counter-balances to the men that court them, elucidating the underpinnings of their beliefs and the truth of their assertions. Write an essay about the women in the play in three parts:

Part 1) Examine the courtship between Gwen and Tzara. How does she challenge him to defend his Dada poetry in a way no one else does? How does he prove the worth of his art in this sequence?

Part 2) Nadya narrates much of the second act of the play. What new information regarding Lenin's attitude toward art does she provide? How does this create a more vibrant portrait of the revolutionary politician?

Part 3) Throughout the play, Henry Carr's assertions seem more than a little suspect. What new information does Old Cecily provide at the end of the play? Does she seem a more reliable narrator than Carr?

(see the answer keys)

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