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. How many games does it take before Luzhin's opponent begins having difficulty beating him?

2. Who has been educating Luzhin at home, before his enrollment in school?

3. How is Luzhin greeted when he arrives at his aunt's house?

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

5. How does Luzhin think fellow students feel about him?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Luzhin feel about his aunt?

2. How doe Luzhin's fiancee seem like a dream to him?

3. How does Luzhin's father feel when he finally hears that his son is a prodigy?

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

5. What authors does Luzhin like to read?

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

7. How does Luzhin feel about playing chess blind?

8. How does Luzhin's father die?

9. Who does Luzhin nearly run into on the first day he skips school?

10. Why does Luzhin hide during his father's party?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Luzhin is only known by his family name throughout most of the novel, and other major characters are never named at all. Discuss the use of names in the novel.

1) Why is Luzhin only known by his family name throughout the novel? Why is his personal name revealed at the end of the novel?

2) Why are the characters closest to Luzhin, like his wife, never named?

3) Why are characters who are relatively unimportant, like guests at a party or people the Luzhins run into on the street, given names? What does this show about the author's perspective?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the structure of the novel.

1) What divides the novel into sections or parts? What roles do these parts play over the course of the novel?

2) How does Luzhin develop over the course of the novel? How does he change?

3) Why does the novel begin in Luzhin's boyhood?

Essay Topic 3

After Luzhin's breakdown, he goes through a period of retirement from chess, in which he in many way relives his childhood. Discuss this repetition of the past and the air of fatalism it has.

1) Is Luzhin fated to be drawn back to chess? What forces seem to draw him irrevocably to chess?

2) Is Luzhin replaying his childhood because the forces of his character naturally cause him to have the same relationships and do the same types of things? Is this fate? Can Luzhin change? Can the world around him change?

3) In what ways is Luzhin's childhood different from his adulthood with his wife? How does Luzhin change? Does this show any ability to break free of the repetition?

(see the answer keys)

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