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 couldn't be clear at the time of the questions?

2. What author's work doesn't Ivan specifically reference in his "Literary" Preface?

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

4. Who is traveling with the cardinal?

5. What part of the scene in front of the cathedral does the cardinal witness?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the little girl feel when she comes back to life?

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

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

4. Why does Jesus appear at the specific time and place in Spain?

5. Why doesn't the grand inquisitor want Jesus to add to his teachings?

6. What does the grand inquisitor believe about people's freedom?

7. Why does the crowd flock to Jesus?

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

9. Describe Ivan's manner the first time Alyosha stops to question him.

10. What is the "new heresy" Ivan refers to in the "north of Germany?"

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

Based upon his speech in the prison, write about the effects the grand inquisitor believes a reappearance of Jesus would have on 16th century citizens and Christianity.

Essay Topic 3

Why does the crowd's behavior change toward Jesus, once the grandinquisitor appears? Identify how the crowd is feeling before Jesus is arrested. Do their feelings change, or just their behavior? What is their opinion of the grand inquisitor?

(see the answer keys)

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