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 procedure does Pnin have in Chapter 2?

2. What does Pnin usually find wrong in the places that he lives?

3. As a teacher, how would Pnin be described?

4. After leaving the library in Chapter 3, what does Pnin decide to do for the night?

5. What does the librarian tell Pnin in Chapter 3 that he refuses to take any responsibility for?

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 does Pnin seek out Oleg Komarov in Chapter 3?

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

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

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

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

8. What does the library request of Pnin in Chapter 3?

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

10. How does Liza use Pnin to get to America?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Description is the fiction-writing mode for creating a mental image of a story. Examine the use of description in "Pnin". How does the author use narration, dialogue, and imagery to bring his novel to life? What is the best example of the use of description from the novel "Pnin"?

Essay Topic 2

There is a lot of emphasis in the novel "Pnin" about what is normal. Explore the theme of normalcy throughout the novel. Is Victor normal even though he is not like other children his age? Is Pnin considered normal even though he has some odd quirks? Who or what determines what is normal?

Essay Topic 3

Pnin has many funny quirks, yet he has fears and some self-confidence issues too. Examine the concepts of fear and self-confidence, exploring how they relate to Pnin. What is the definition of fear? How can having fears affect one's self-confidence? What examples from the book demonstrate what Pnin fears? Would Pnin be considered a self-confident man? Where in the book does Pnin demonstrate his self-confidence, almost to his detriment?

(see the answer keys)

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