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. Does Myshkin believe Lebedev's story about finding the money?

2. When Hippolite wakes at Myshkin's celebration, how long does a party member say he's been asleep?

3. Who is Ganja arguing with, when Varya comes home at the beginning of Part IV?

4. What does Burdovsky want from Myshkin?

5. What is Madam Yephanchin's position about the possibility of Myshkin marrying her daughter Aglaya?

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

Discuss the nature of goodness in the novel.

1) In what ways does Myshkin embody goodness? Is Myshkin's goodness always truly good?

2) Why can't Myshkin's goodness survive in St. Petersburg society? Is goodness doomed to tragedy and failure?

3) Does Rogozhin have any goodness in him? In what ways are the other characters good?

(see the answer keys)

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