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 does the inquisitor say man can not understand?

2. What religious character used as a character in fiction does Ivan specifically reference in his "Literary" Preface?

3. Who does the grand inquisitor say the prisoner talked to in the wilderness?

4. What does Ivan mean when he says, "It was customary in poetry to bring down heavenly powers on earth"?

5. What does the grand inquisitor say happened to Jesus?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the grand inquisitor justify lying to people about Jesus and religion?

2. What does the cardinal do once he is shut in the room with the prisoner?

3. What is the subject of Ivan's Literary Preface?

4. Describe the grand inquisitor's manner of speech to the prisoner.

5. Why does the grand inquisitor say have Jesus followers left him?

6. Why does the grand inquisitor say the clergy will suffer?

7. What does Alyosha think of the old man's behavior?

8. Why does the priest in the funeral look perplexed?

9. How does the grand inquisitor predict man will feel about his loss of freedom?

10. What does the grand inquisitor think man's rebellious nature will lead to?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

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

Write about the relationship between the Ivan and Alyosha, do they agree with each other's thinking? Is there love and respect between the brothers?

(see the answer keys)

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