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. Where were Pnin and his wife Liza staying when she met Dr. Wind, the man she ends up leaving Pnin for?

2. In Chapter 3, up until this point in his life, what has Pnin always been?

3. What does Pnin recommend Laurence get, telling him he will not regret it?

4. What is the name of the woman who introduces Pnin at the seminar?

5. In Chapter 3, which poet's poem does Pnin discuss concerning the uncertainty of death?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What poem does Pnin discuss with his class in Chapter 3?

5. Why has Pnin always been a constant mover?

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The author gives many details about Pnin's personality through description and with flashbacks. Analyze the use of flashbacks used in the novel "Pnin". How does the use of flashbacks help to develop the characters? Are the flashbacks used in "Pnin" important for the development of his character? Are flashbacks confusing or helpful?

Essay Topic 2

Analyze the character of Professor Timofey Pnin. Where is Pnin from and what is his first language? Is his character likable? Does one feel pity for his character? What is engaging about Pnin? What are his strengths and weaknesses?

Essay Topic 3

The author of "Pnin" emphasizes a certain amount of dullness in the academic life. Examine the premise of dullness of academic life in the novel "Pnin". Does this dull feeling fit Pnin's personality and character? Are the other professors at the college depicted as dull? What do the students do that is the same every year? How are the butterflies depicted? Why does this particularly year have a dark undertone?

(see the answer keys)

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