Objective: Chapter 1, By Way of an Introduction and Chapter 2, Prince Harry, Marriage Proposal The Possessed is grounded in the development of Russia's political and economic system. This lesson discusses Russia's role as the setting for the novel.
1. Research activity. Give students reference materials and ask them to research the history of Russia at the end of the nineteenth century. What were the dominant movements? Who were the dominant parties? What were the predominant political contentions?
2. Short presentation. Ask students to spend some time preparing and then delivering presentations about the presence of Russian history in the first chapter of part one of The Possessed. What does the history of Russia make us focus on?
3. Class discussion. What would this book have meant to a Russian in 1872? What themes is Dostoevsky discussing? What would a reader have expected from this book in 1872?
Homework: Read some background material on...
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