1. Describe the progress of the game that Schaaf, Anna, and Liza are playing.
Schaaf generally wins when they play hearts, but Anna starts to beat him in this game. He is a sore loser and blames the progress of the game on Liza, resolving never to be her partner again.
2. Why is Rakitin reading The Count of Monte Cristo aloud?
Rakitin is reading The Count of Monte Cristo aloud because Natalya feels obligated to read it. She recently met someone who raved about it and wants to be able to state authoritatively that she saw nothing entertaining about the novel.
3. Describe Beliayev, according to Natalya's report in Act 1, Part 1.
According to Natalya's report in Act 1, Part 1, Beliayev is an unrefined and immature but cheerful and pleasant Russian.
4. What does Natalya mean when she tells Rakitin, "Sometimes when we talk together it's exactly as though [...] we were making lace"?
When Natalya states that she feels that she and Rakiting are "making lace," she means that they spend a great deal of effort making something that is pretty but not useful and that does not refresh one's spirit whatsoever.
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