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 gift did the General buy Nastassya Filoppovna?

2. Who does Myshkin think is following him?

3. What does Myshkin think of the picture of Nastassya Filippovna?

4. How did General Yephanchin make his reputation and fortune?

5. What does Aglaya ask Myshkin to do?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Myshkin describe Aglaya?

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

3. How does Ganja's father embarrass him?

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

5. Why is Ganja marrying Nastassya?

6. What reason does Yephanchin say he has to be guilty over someone's death?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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