Utz Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. How did the communist state divert people's attentions from the Christian rituals of Utz's funeral?

In order to divert the people's attention from retrograde Christian rituals, the state demanded Christian funerals must be over by 8:30.

2. Describe the stuffed bear in the Hotel Bristol.

A huge stuffed bear stands at the end of the table to remind the clientele of their country's fraternal protector. A brass plaque says a hunter shot the bear not in the Tatras or the Carpathians, but in the Yukon. In fact is not the traditional black bear at all, but a grizzly bear.

3. Why has the narrator come to Prague?

The narrator goes to Prague for historical research, one year before Soviet tanks overrun Czechoslovakia. He is writing an article on the psychology of the collector.

4. Why does the narrator's friend send him to meet Utz?

The narrator's friend sends him to Utz because Utz owns a spectacular collection of Meissen porcelain. He has over a thousand pieces, all crammed into his tiny, two-room flat, which he has preserved through World War II, Stalin and the current regime.

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