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. What city did Pnin end up in 1919?

2. Who stayed in the room before Pnin at the Clementses' house?

3. How would Pnin be described when he is drunk?

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

5. Whom does Mrs. Clements tell she is looking to rent out her room?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do Joan and Pnin learn they have in common from their discussion in Chapter 2?

2. What does Pnin have a fascination with, like many Russians, that gets him lost?

3. How does Laurence Clements feel about Pnin staying in his house?

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

5. Why does Pnin seek out Oleg Komarov in Chapter 3?

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

7. What other people occupy Pnin's coach on the train in Chapter 1?

8. What procedure does Pnin have done in Chapter 2 that leaves him very pleased?

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

10. What happens when Pnin tries to get his suitcase back from the man at the station in Chapter 1?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In "Pnin", one of the writing styles that the author uses is his choice of narrator. Explore the different styles of narrators for fiction writing, particularly analyzing the third-person narratives used in "Pnin". How important is the narrator to the story? What are the different types of narrators? Why does the particular type of narrator that Vladimir Nabokov chose for "Pnin" such a good choice? When does the narrator reveal himself to the reader? What is so unique about this type of narrator? How?

Essay Topic 2

One theme in the novel "Pnin" is his strict adherence to his daily routine. Examine the theme of routine in Pnin's life exploring how it affects the overall novel. What does Pnin do every day? What does Pnin's precise routine say about his character and personality? How does Pnin's daily routine affect the overall tone of the novel?

Essay Topic 3

The beginning of "Pnin" is somewhat lighthearted and even humorous, and then the tone of the novel changes somewhat by the end. Examine the use of tone in the novel "Pnin", describing how it changes throughout the novel. How does the author set the tone in "Pnin"? How is this tone important for the overall mood of the story? What is the tone in "Pnin"? Does this tone seem to go well with the story?

(see the answer keys)

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