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 Madam Yephanchin think her husband is doing behind her back?

2. Who runs after Nastassya and Rogozhin when they leave?

3. How does Lebedev react when Rogozhin tells who he is?

4. Whose house does Myshkin go to when he first arrives back in St. Petersburg?

5. What does Aglaya ask Myshkin to read?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How does Myshkin describe Aglaya?

4. What does Ferdyshchenko describe doing to make sure someone else is blamed for his own theft?

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

6. How did Rogozhin become estranged from his father?

7. How does the General treat Prince Myshkin?

8. How does Nastassya react to Rogozhin's offer of a present?

9. How does Ganja's father embarrass him?

10. What does Myshkin say that he does not care about, before he proposes to Nastassya?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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 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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