Russian Thinkers 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. Who was Mikhail Bakunin's mentor?

2. How did censorship system work?

3. What did the Tsar see himself as defending for his country?

4. How did Herzen and Bakunin express the value they shared?

5. What effect did German Romanticism have on Russian students?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the difference between progressive and reactionary Romanticism.

2. Who was Joseph de Maistre and what ideas did Tolstoy share with him?

3. What problems did Herzen have with Hegelian philosophy?

4. What conspiracy group did the Second of April Committee unveil, and what was the result of the trial?

5. How did Bakunin differ from Stankevich in his application of Hegelian ideas?

6. What was the effect of the "moral quarantine" of Western ideas in Russia?

7. Why, according to Berlin, did Tolstoy resist subscribing to a totalizing theory of history?

8. What did Nicholas Stankevich find attractive in Hegel's theories?

9. Describe the main ideas of Hegel's that influenced Herzen.

10. What do foxes and hedgehogs represent in Archilochus' adage, and how does Berlin apply the distinction to Russian thinkers?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the tension between Alexander Herzen and Ivan Turgenev as exemplars of the idea of artistic commitment and freedom respectively. What were the options for artists? Could they stand aside and simply create? How did other Russian writers resolve this opposition?

Essay Topic 2

How were the roles of literature and literary criticism different in 19th-century Russia? What did critics expect to do in criticism? What did writers expect to do by writing? In which writers, or in what cases did these functions overlap? Where did they diverge, or tear a writer's work in two directions?

Essay Topic 3

Which writer or character is most representative of the tensions and conflicting desires that characterize the writers Berlin profiles? Define your terms, and use examples from the life of the author you choose.

(see the answer keys)

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