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 the General find a picture of?

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

3. Who does Madam Yephanchin want to talk to as soon as she sees the photo of Nastassya?

4. Who runs after Nastassya and Rogozhin when they leave?

5. What story does Ganja's father tell?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Madam Yephanchin react, after Burdovsky and his companions object to the information Ganja reveals about Burdovsky?

2. What happens when Hippolite tries to kill himself?

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

4. How does Myshkin contradict what Aglaya has told him about Ganja?

5. How do the people at the party react to the accident Myshkin causes?

6. How do the guests at the Yephanchins' react to Myshkin's response to Radomsky's political views?

7. How does the General treat Prince Myshkin?

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

9. How does Aglaya react to Ganja's letter?

10. What does Myskhin's view of dueling seem to be?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the expectations that characters put on others in the novel.

1) What do the members of society expect Myshkin to be like? How do they treat Myshkin when he does not meet their expectations?

2) What do the characters expect of their friends and family members in the novel? What do Aglyana's parents expect of her, and how do their expectations shape her behavior? What does Nastassya's guardian expect from her, and how do his expectations shape her behavior?

3) What does Myshkin expect from others in the novel?

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

Myshkin is known for his forgiveness of others throughout the novel. Discuss forgiveness in the novel.

1) Why does Myshkin continue to forgive others for wrongs, including Rogozhin's murder of Nastassya? Are there other characters in the novel that forgive each other for wrongdoings?

2) How does the knowledge of assured forgiveness affect the characters' behavior? Does it make Lebedev more likely to be complicit in the scandalous article against Myshkin? Does forgiveness have a negative affect on characters?

3) When do the characters not forgive each other? How does the lack of forgiveness affect the characters' lives?

(see the answer keys)

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