The Possessed Short Essay - Answer Key

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Short Essay Questions Key

1. Describe Mrs. Stavrogin's relationship with Verkhovensky.

Mrs. Stavrogin originally hired Verkhovensky to tutor her son, Nicholas Stavrogin. Mrs. Stavrogin and Mr. Verkhovensky have a complicated, but platonic relationship.

2. What is Verkhovensky's status in Russian society?

Moscow and St. Petersburg intellectuals do not respect Verkhovensky. This, accompanied with his general laziness, leads to intemperate drinking and gambling. Despite his flaws, Mr. Verkhovensky is still the most educated and literate man in his small Russian village. He is afraid of being seen as subversive by the government, but he likes to pose in his own circle as a freethinker and a progressive.

3. How are Liputin, Shatov and Virginsky described when we meet them?

Liputin is a stingy, middle-aged, liberal official in the province. Shatov is the newest member of the social circle--he was once a student of Verkhovensky's, but he was expelled from the university for his socialistic views. He has since changed his views and has become a strident conservative. Shatov is, for the most part, not talkative, though he can be quite irritable at times. Virginsky is, like Liputin, a local official. He is said to be the complete opposite of Shatov, though they are both young and somewhat resemble one and other

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