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 role that money plays in the novel.

1) How does Myshkin's life and position change when he has money? How do others view him when he has money, versus when he doesn't have money?

2) Why does Rogozhin offer Nastassya increasing amounts of money to marry him? Why does Nastassya throw Rogozhin's money into the fire?

3) How do the other characters in the novel view money? Why is money important to Ganja? How does Madam Yephanchin feel about money?

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

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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