The Grand Inquisitor Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is a "Literary Preface," in the case of this story?

2. What happened at the auto de fe the day before the prisoner is arrested?

3. How do the people react to the guards seizing the prisoner from their midst?

4. What does the crowd do after they see Jesus perform healing?

5. Where does Jesus stop to meet the mother of the dead child?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the grand inquisitor's judgment about Jesus' response to the temptation?

2. Who is the spirit that talks with Jesus in the wilderness?

3. Why were the cardinals, the king and his court, the knights, and the whole population of Seville at the auto de fe?

4. What happened the day before to 100 people declared as heretics?

5. Why does Ivan call Jesus' appearance a visit?

6. Why does Ivan repeatedly mention Dante in his preface?

7. Why does God find it hard to spare the sinners in hell despite Our Lady's pleas for mercy?

8. Why does the inquisitor think the three questions are important?

9. Why does the cardinal come to the prisoner's room alone and in the night?

10. How is Jesus tempted in the story?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Why does the grand inquisitor ascribe so much value to the questions of temptation asked Jesus? What is the importance of the questions?

Essay Topic 3

Why did the author choose to set the story in Seville of the Inquisition as opposed to another time and place? What is significant about this setting? How does the setting come into play in the plot of Ivan's narrative? Where else could he have set the story?

(see the answer keys)

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