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 reason does Ganja give for wanting Myshkin as a friend?

2. What is Totsky's story about?

3. What gift did the General buy Nastassya Filoppovna?

4. Who does the General suggest that Prince Myshkin stay with?

5. How do the party guests decide what order to play the game?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does Ganja's father embarrass him?

3. What does Rogozhin and Lebedev's relationship seem to be like during their conversation on the train?

4. How did Rogozhin become estranged from his father?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Nastassya and Aglyana are the two main female characters in the novel. Compare these two characters.

1) In what ways does Nastassya parallel Rogozhin in the novel? In what ways does Aglyana parallel Myshkin? How are the relationships between the two major male characters and the two major female characters similar and different?

2) Compare Nastassya and Aglyana. How are their home lives and upbringing similar and different? How are they perceived by others? How do others affect their actions?

3) Compare the eventual fates of Nastassya and Aglyana. Why is Aglyana the only major character to go on and live a normal life after the climax of the novel? What does this say about Aglyana's emotions and character?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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