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 does Rogozhin's mother do to Myshkin?

2. How long is Myshkin away from St. Petersburg?

3. What is Rogozhin's house like?

4. What is Rogozhin's explanation for why Nastassya left him?

5. Who does Madam Yephanchin want to talk to as soon as she sees the photo of Nastassya?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Ganja marrying Nastassya?

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

3. How does Madam Yephanchin react, after Burdovsky and his companions object to the information Ganja reveals about Burdovsky?

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

5. What does Myshkin do, when Ganja apologizes for hitting him?

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

7. What does Keller ask Myshkin for?

8. What is Ganja's attitude toward his father?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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