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 is Radomsky's view of liberalism?

2. What does Myshkin say, when Aglaya asks him to marry her in Part IV, Chapter V?

3. What does Koyla ask his father to do?

4. What does the note Varya finds on Ganja's desk ask for?

5. What games do Aglaya's sisters report that she played with her visitor?

Essay 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

Discuss religion in the novel.

1) What stories do the characters tell about religion and about God? What do these stories mean? Why does the author include them in the novel?

2) What do Myshkin and Rogozhin say about the religious painting in Rogozhin's house? What is the significance of the painting? Does it reveal anything about Rogozhin's relationship to religion? What about the crosses that the two men exchange? What is the religious significance of the crosses?

3) How does Myshkin react when he learns his benefactor turned to Catholicism before his death? What does this say about Myshkin's attitude toward religion? How is Myshkin's attitude toward religion different than the other characters' attitudes?

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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