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. Why was Pnin made to sit in his bed for weeks with nothing to do when he was a child?

2. How would Pnin's laugh be described?

3. Why did Liza pretend that she wanted to be back with Pnin even though she was carrying Dr. Wind's child?

4. In what year did Pnin leave his home country?

5. By what means is Pnin traveling at the beginning of the book?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. What does Pnin discover from the librarian that is surprising to him in Chapter 3?

6. How does Pnin meet and marry Liza?

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

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

9. What is an example of one of Pnin's less pleasant quirks? Describe in detail.

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

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

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

Pnin's situation is almost somewhat hopeless and the reader can't help but feel sad for him. Analyze the theme of Pnin's misfortunes in life. What does the narrator say about Pnin's misfortunes in life? Is Pnin the cause of his own misfortunes? Is his situation with Liza hopeless? Why does Pnin comply with her? Is he the cause of most of his misfortunes?

(see the answer keys)

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