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. Who does Myshkin try to visit at the Scales hotel?

2. Who goes first in the game?

3. What state is Rogozhin in when he visits Ganja's house on Myshkin's first night there?

4. Who gives Aglaya a letter from Myshkin?

5. At the beginning of the first chapter, where are the men in the train traveling to?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Myshkin do, when Ganja apologizes for hitting him?

2. How does Totsky describe Nastassya's behavior as she grew up?

3. What does Rogozhin describe as having happened between him and Nastassya before she left him?

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

5. How does the General treat Prince Myshkin?

6. What happens to Myshkin when Rogozhin tries to kill him?

7. How does Ganja's father embarrass him?

8. What stories does Myshkin tell Rogozhin about religion?

9. What does Myshkin feel when he gets off the train arriving in St. Petersburg?

10. What does Myshkin predict about Rogozhin and Nastassya Filippovna?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Nastassya and Aglyana are the two main female characters in the novel. Compare these two characters.

1) In what ways does Nastassya parallel Rogozhin in the novel? In what ways does Aglyana parallel Myshkin? How are the relationships between the two major male characters and the two major female characters similar and different?

2) Compare Nastassya and Aglyana. How are their home lives and upbringing similar and different? How are they perceived by others? How do others affect their actions?

3) Compare the eventual fates of Nastassya and Aglyana. Why is Aglyana the only major character to go on and live a normal life after the climax of the novel? What does this say about Aglyana's emotions and character?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss beauty and women in the novel.

1) How do the characters treat beautiful women differently from women who are not beautiful, or who are less beautiful? How is beauty valued in the society and by Myshkin?

2) Why is Nastassya introduced to Myshkin first by a picture? What does Myshkin know about Nastassya, based on her picture? How does Nastassya's beauty affect her life and her character?

3) How does Aglaya's beauty affect her life and her character? Does it change her personality? How would her life be different if she were not beautiful?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss religion in the novel.

1) What stories do the characters tell about religion and about God? What do these stories mean? Why does the author include them in the novel?

2) What do Myshkin and Rogozhin say about the religious painting in Rogozhin's house? What is the significance of the painting? Does it reveal anything about Rogozhin's relationship to religion? What about the crosses that the two men exchange? What is the religious significance of the crosses?

3) How does Myshkin react when he learns his benefactor turned to Catholicism before his death? What does this say about Myshkin's attitude toward religion? How is Myshkin's attitude toward religion different than the other characters' attitudes?

(see the answer keys)

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