1. Do you see a parallel between Khrushchev and Gorbachev
in their impacts of Eastern Europe? Explain.
2. What is your favorite part of "Poem for Adults"
(PfA), and why? What do you make of the title of this poem? Analyze this
poem as a political document, and describe its timing.
3. Longworth writes (p. 47) that PfA "encapsulated
so much of the human truth involved in the frantic rush of Stalinist industrialization
"sudden urbanization and social restructuring." What was this
"human truth" in Poland according to Wazyk? Be quite specific,
and make a list of the poetís observations about communist Poland.
4. According to Gale Stokes, the post-Stalinist East European
leaders were animated by an interest in "reform, renewal, and improvement"
rather than by "outright rejection and disgust." What Marxist
arguments did reformers like Imre Nagy make against the rigidly Stalinist
system of their communist predecessors?
5. Poets played a political role in Eastern Europe. Comment
with respect to Wazyk, Blandiana, and the Petofi Circle (see Stokes p. 81).
To what do you attribute this combination of literature and politics?
6. What is the main point (or two) of Mlynar's "Towards
a Democratic Political Organization of Society"? of Vaculik's "2000
7. Put yourself in the shoes of a Czech or Slovak student
in 1968. Would you have supported Mlynar and Vaculik?