Pnin 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. How long does Pnin usually stay at the places he rents?

2. What is Laurence Clements, a fellow professor of Pnin's, most popular course at college?

3. What abstract field does Pnin have no interest of getting into teaching?

4. What is Pnin's first name?

5. What happens to Pnin, while he is discussing the poem in Chapter 3, which causes the class to laugh?

Short Essay Questions

1. What word does Pnin look up in the dictionary and why?

2. Where is Pnin headed at the beginning of Chapter 1?

3. Why is Pnin so horrified at the possibility of losing his suitcase in Chapter 1?

4. What happens to Pnin at the bus station that has been happening since he was a child?

5. How well does Pnin speak English? Describe in detail.

6. Where is Pnin a professor at in Chapter 1?

7. What does Pnin almost encounter when he comes down the stairs during the Clementses' party in Chapter 2?

8. Describe Pnin's fellow professor, Oleg Komarov.

9. What subject does Pnin have no desire to teach?

10. What does Pnin tell Joan about his background in Chapter 2?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Analyze the Clementses and their relationship with Pnin, comparing their first impressions of Pnin to how they end up feeling about Pnin. What kind of people are the Clementses? How does Pnin know them? What do Pnin and Joan bond over? What are some examples from the book that demonstrate the Clementses beginning to like Pnin?

Essay Topic 2

The story of Pnin can be enhanced by learning about the author of the book. Research the author Vladimir Nabokov, comparing him to the character of Professor Timofey Pnin. How are Pnin and Nabokov similar? How are Pnin and Nabokov different? Why would Nabokov write a book that clearly is very related to his own life? How is "Pnin" an indicator of Nabokov's life as an immigrant?

Essay Topic 3

Analyze the character of Liza and her overall affect on Pnin's life. What kind of person is Liza? Did she truly ever love Pnin or was she always using him? Why can't Pnin see Liza for what she truly is? How does Pnin behave when he is around Liza? Is Liza a good influence on Pnin?

(see the answer keys)

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