The Idiot 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. What does Nastassya say about Myshkin after his proposal?

2. Whose death does Yephanchin tell a story about?

3. What does Aglaya ask Myshkin to do?

4. Where does Myshkin go to claim his inheritance?

5. What does the story Ferdyshchenko describes involve stealing?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Nastassya react to Rogozhin's offer of a present?

2. What does Rogozhin and Lebedev's relationship seem to be like during their conversation on the train?

3. How does the General treat Prince Myshkin?

4. What does Nastassya say initially to Myshkin's proposal?

5. What happened to the man that Totsky wronged in his story?

6. What reason does Yephanchin say he has to be guilty over someone's death?

7. How does Ganja's father embarrass him?

8. What does Ferdyshchenko describe doing to make sure someone else is blamed for his own theft?

9. What is Myshkin and Rogozhin's initial meeting like, when Myshkin visits Rogozhin's house upon returning to St. Petersburg?

10. How does the footman treat Prince Myshkin when he first arrives at the Yephanchins' house?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the society depicted in the novel, marriage is an important institution. The characters try to arrange marriages for themselves and for others. Discuss marriage in the novel.

1) How do the characters choose who they want to marry? How does Myshkin decide first to marry Aglaya and then Nastassya? How does Nastassya determine to marry Myshkin, and then run off with Rogozhin?

2) How do family members influence marriage? How do Aglaya's parents think of their daughter's marriage? What influence do they have on her marriage?

3) How does society view marriage? What relation does money and social position have to marriage? Does society influence the marriage choices that the characters make?

Essay Topic 2

Much of the action in the novel happens at parties and social gatherings. Discuss the importance of parties and social gatherings in the novel.

1) Why does so much of the action of the novel take place at parties and social gatherings? How do the characters react differently in these social situations, than in private?

2) What role do parties and social gatherings fulfill in the culture of St. Petersburg? How do they affect the social relationships and social order of the characters?

3) How are events at parties and social gatherings reviewed and critiqued by the people attending the gatherings? How does this change the consequences of those events, which are witnessed by groups of people?

Essay Topic 3

Throughout the novel, characters communicate private messages through letters. Discuss the role of letters in the novel.

1) Why do characters use letters to communicate? What types of messages do the characters communicate through letters?

2) How do the intentions of letter-writers and the meanings interpreted by readers differ? Why? What does this say about communication in the novel?

3) How do letters being read by unintended audiences or not delivered affect the course of the story?

(see the answer keys)

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