The Defense 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 does Luzhin play chess with at his aunt's house?

2. At the end of Chapter 8, where is Luzhin trying to go?

3. On the first game that Luzhin's opponent doesn't beat him, what is the result?

4. What habit of Luzhin's particularly annoys his future wife's mother?

5. How does Luzhin hurt himself during the chess game with Turati?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Luzhin behave on walks with his future wife and her mother?

2. How does Luzhin's future wife feel about introducing him to her family?

3. How does Luzhin react to being caught cutting school?

4. What problem does Luzhin have getting to his game with his final rival?

5. How does Luzhin respond to his fiancee's parents' home?

6. Before playing with his son, how does Luzhin's father consider his own chess abilities?

7. Why does Luzhin's mother leave her husband and son to return to Russia, and how does Luzhin's father react?

8. Describe Luzhin's future wife when he meets her in Germany.

9. What ability does Luzhin compare his ability to read chess notation with?

10. Why does Luzhin's father decide that the boy he wants to write about, based on his son, will die young?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss conscious and unconscious awareness in the novel.

1) Is Luzhin conscious of what he wants, needs, and feels? How does he relate to his own feelings? What goes on below the surface in his mind?

2) How conscious is Luzhin's wife of her own motivations, needs, and feelings? How does she explain her motivations to herself?

3) How conscious are Luzhin's in-laws, parents, and psychiatrist of their own motivations and what drives them? How is Luzhin's father aware of his drives and needs?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss Luzhin's character.

1) How is Luzhin different from other people? What are the consequences to him in his life?

2) Why is Luzhin obsessed with chess? What does Luzhin see and enjoy that most people don't?

3) What kind of world would Luzhin be happy in? In what ways is Luzhin mismatched to society, and why?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss identity and personhood in the novel.

1) Luzhin's identity is wrapped up in chess. Why and how?

2) Does Luzhin fit the definition of a person, as other characters perceive it? How does Luzhin not fit into others' ideas of a "person"?

3) What gives Luzhin identity besides chess playing? What elements add to his identity?

(see the answer keys)

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