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 is Totsky's story about?

2. What does Prince Myshkin smoke?

3. What do Ganja and his family argue about?

4. How does the party react to Ferdyshchenko's story?

5. How does the General describe the Prince to his wife?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. Why is Ganja marrying Nastassya?

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

6. How does Totsky describe Nastassya's behavior as she grew up?

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

8. How does Myshkin describe Aglaya?

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

10. What happened to the man that Totsky wronged in his story?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Myshkin is known for his forgiveness of others throughout the novel. Discuss forgiveness in the novel.

1) Why does Myshkin continue to forgive others for wrongs, including Rogozhin's murder of Nastassya? Are there other characters in the novel that forgive each other for wrongdoings?

2) How does the knowledge of assured forgiveness affect the characters' behavior? Does it make Lebedev more likely to be complicit in the scandalous article against Myshkin? Does forgiveness have a negative affect on characters?

3) When do the characters not forgive each other? How does the lack of forgiveness affect the characters' lives?

Essay Topic 3

Myshkin is often considered a Christ figure in the novel. Discuss Myshkin as a Christ figure.

1) What aspects of goodness does Myshkin embody? Does the author think these traits are truly, and always, good? How are these traits contrasted against the society of St. Petersburg?

2) Why does Myshkin end up insane at the end of the novel? How does this ending compare to the crucifixion of Christ? Does Myshkin in any way provide salvation, as a Christ figure?

3) In what ways is Myshkin dissimilar from Christ?

(see the answer keys)

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