The Grand Inquisitor Essay Topics & Writing Assignments

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Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Pick two literary references from Ivan's literary preface and compare and contrast them. Why did the author include this reference? What is the significance of the reference?

Essay Topic 2

In the Grand Inquisitor, pairs of characters, Ivan and Alyosha, the inquisitor and Jesus, and Jesus and the devil meet separately. Compare and contrast these meetings. Is there a common theme between the pairs of characters or do they serve to contrast each other?

Essay Topic 3

What is the view on religion and history expressed by Ivan in his literary preface? What historical events does he reference? What religious ideas does he take for granted as he describes the progress of Christian thought? How does he describe this progress?

Essay Topic 4

Write about Alyosha's purpose in the narrative. What role does the author choose for him to play? What effect does his existence have on the narrative...

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