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. In what country was the hospital located where Prince Myshkin stayed?

2. What is Totsky's story about?

3. What is Rogozhin's explanation for why Nastassya left him?

4. Whose death does Yephanchin tell a story about?

5. Where does Myshkin go to claim his inheritance?

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

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

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

6. How does Myshkin respond when Adelaide asks him about falling in love?

7. What wrongs does Ganja accuse Myshkin of during this section?

8. What does Nastassya ask Myshkin, after hearing the stories of the men at the party?

9. How did Rogozhin become estranged from his father?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the nature of goodness in the novel.

1) In what ways does Myshkin embody goodness? Is Myshkin's goodness always truly good?

2) Why can't Myshkin's goodness survive in St. Petersburg society? Is goodness doomed to tragedy and failure?

3) Does Rogozhin have any goodness in him? In what ways are the other characters good?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Myshkin and Rogozhin are the two main male characters in the novel, and they are contrasted in many ways. Discuss the similarities and differences between Rogozhin and Myshkin.

1) How are Myshkin and Rogozhin physically different? How are their social positions and possessions different? What do these differences indicate about their characters?

2) Compare Myshkin and Rogozhins' responses to others. How do they react to perceived wrongs? How do they react to the forces of society and individuals that influence their behaviors?

3) Why do Myshkin and Rogozhin become close, so that Myshkin greets Rogozhin as a brother? Why does Rogozhin go to Myshkin at the end of the novel after he's killed Nastassya? In what ways are the men similar, and what bond do they share?

(see the answer keys)

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