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 invites Myshkin to sit next to them?

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

3. Who does the visitor mistake Myshkin for?

4. Who is at the door at Ganja's home, when Myshkin answers it?

5. What does Ganja's father throw out a window in the story?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Ganja marrying Nastassya?

2. What does Myshkin say that he does not care about, before he proposes to Nastassya?

3. What does Yephanchin say that he did to make up for his guilty feelings?

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

5. How does the General treat Prince Myshkin?

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

7. How do the Yephanchins' three daughters react to Myshkin?

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

9. How does Madam Yephanchin react to Myshkin going off to collect his inheritance?

10. How does Ganja come to blows with Myshkin, and how does Myshkin respond?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The novel centers around the characters' love relationships. Discuss love in the novel.

1) What causes characters to fall in love with each other in the novel? How can the characters, and the reader, distinguish between true love and different kinds of attraction in the novel?

2) What role does jealousy play in the characters' love relationships? What role does the characters' ideas of their self-worth play in their attraction to others?

3) What role does social position and money play in the characters' love relationships?

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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