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. What does Rogozhin do after attempting to kill Myshkin?

3. What does Myshkin threaten to do, after Ganja calls him an idiot?

4. How did the General's wife react to his gift to Nastassya Filoppovna?

5. What does Ganja think of Myshkin, after he's gotten to know him?

Short Essay Questions

1. What leads up to the violence in the park?

2. How does Myshkin treat Rogozhin, after Rogozhin tried to kill him?

3. What does Nastassya say initially to Myshkin's proposal?

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

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

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

7. What does Madam Yephanchin think about, as she brings Myshkin to her house?

8. Why does Hippolite want to kill himself?

9. How does Myshkin learn that Nastassya is in town?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss fate in the novel.

1) What forces, both within the characters themselves and outside the characters, dictate the paths that the characters' lives take in the novel? To what extent are the characters able to make choices about their lives and control their own destinies?

2) In the novel, there are moments of prophecy, as when Myshkin predicts that Nastassya will marry Rogozhin, and then Rogozhin will murder her. What do these moments of prophecy say about fate and destiny in the novel?

3) Could the novel have ended in any other way, for these particular characters in this particular society?

Essay Topic 3

The characters' reactions and actions in the novel are often emotional ones. Discuss emotionalism in the novel.

1) How do Aglaya and Nastassya both react emotionally? How do their emotional reactions influence events and others' perceptions of them? What decisions do they make based on emotions?

2) How are Myshkin and Rogozhin's reactions different? What role does emotion play in each man's life?

3) How are Lebedev, General Ivolgin, Ganja, and other characters emotional? What consequences do their emotional responses contribute to?

(see the answer keys)

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