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 happens to Ganja's father while Myshkin is away?

2. What does Myshkin learn about Nastassya's engagement to Rogozhin?

3. Where does Ganja live?

4. Where does Rogozhin suggest that Myshkin should stay, after the fight with Ganja?

5. What is Myshkin's reaction to Rogozhin's marriage proposal?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Aglaya say to Myshkin, after her proposal to him?

2. How does Aglaya react, after Myshkin's engagement to Nastassya?

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

4. What does Ganja report about Burdovsky's relationship with Pavlishtchev?

5. What happens when Hippolite tries to kill himself?

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

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

8. How does Ganja's father embarrass him?

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

10. At the meeting at Daria Alexyevna's house, how does Aglaya treat Nastassya?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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