The Idiot Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Aglaya change when she recites from a reading?

2. What does Myshkin offer Burdovsky?

3. What does Ganja say happened to Burdovsky's real father?

4. Who does Myshkin realize is the woman from his dream in the park?

5. How does Aglaya claim Ganja proved his love for her?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 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

Discuss the values of St. Petersburg society that are revealed in the novel.

1) What are the professed values of the characters in the novel? How do they express their professed values?

2) What values are revealed by the characters' actions? How are the values the characters live by different from the values they profess?

3) How are Myshkin's value and style of living different from the values of St. Petersburg society? How does Myshkin reveal the values of St. Petersburg society, by comparison?

(see the answer keys)

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